(CN) - A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that State Department officials and aides to Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton should be questioned under oath about her reliance on a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan announced his decision, granting a motion for discovery file by Judicial Watch, Tuesday afternoon.
The conservative legal watchdog group has been seeking information about Clinton's use of the private server and other matters that transpired during Clinton's years as secretary of state, 2009 through 2013.
During a brief hearing on Tuesday, Judge Sullivan expressed frustration over the slow progress of the case, saying it at least raised a suspicion that public access to government records through the Freedom of Information Act was being stymied.
In a written statement on the Judicial Watch website, the organization's resident, Thomas Fitton, called the ruling a major victory.
"The court-ordered discovery will help determine why the State Department and Mrs. Clinton, even despite receiving numerous FOIA requests, kept the record system secret for years," Fitton said.
"While Mrs. Clinton's testimony may not be required initially, it may happen that her testimony is necessary for the Court to resolve the legal issues about her unprecedented email practices," he added.
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