A conservative watchdog granted the opportunity to seek written testimony from Hillary Clinton about her email saga filed its questions for the former secretary of state in federal court Tuesday, apparently compelling her to answer under oath before the end of September.

There have been conflicting reports of when Clinton would owe Judicial Watch, the plaintiff in the case, responses to its inquiries. The group has maintained it would be no later than 30 days from the date Clinton was served—a stance that seems to adhere to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governing lawsuits in district court. Alternative views floated in the press have speculated that Clinton might be able to wait until mid-November, 30 days after the deadline that U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan set for Judicial Watch to submit its interrogatories.

Lawyers from across the political spectrum with experience before federal court told THE WEEKY STANDARD that Judicial Watch's stance is the likelier interpretation. Judge Sullivan wrote in his order two weeks ago authorizing the watchdog to submit questions, "Judicial Watch may serve interrogatories on Secretary Clinton by no later than October 14, 2016; … consistent with Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Secretary Clinton's responses are due by no later than thirty days thereafter." Rule 33(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states, "The responding party must serve its answers and any objections within 30 days after being served with the interrogatories." Judicial Watch contends, then, that Clinton is obligated to respond by September 29.

The U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia has not provided any clarification. An inquiry placed to Judge Sullivan's office days after Sullivan issued his order was referred to the administrative assistant for Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell. Howell's office had not responded by the time of publication to a call placed mid-morning Wednesday.

Additionally, Judicial Watch and Clinton lawyer David Kendall had not returned messages sent Tuesday evening asking if they would seek clarification from Judge Sullivan.

The window that Clinton has to file her testimony is relevant for political purposes. Were Judicial Watch's interpretation to hold, she would have to comment under oath about the particulars of her email system, including its creation, maintenance, security, legal compliance, and contents, during the stretch run of election season, extending the life of a campaign hindrance right as undecided voters begin to make their final determinations. Were an alternative view of Sullivan's order to prevail—or were Clinton's lawyers able to stall in court for a sufficient period—she could be saved the inconvenience of going on the record before Americans go to the polls.

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement that its inquiries are "simple questions about her email system that we hope will finally result in straight-forward answers." Simple or not, there's no doubt they're exhaustive. The group submitted the full 25 questions that it's permitted under court rules, totaling almost 2,000 words and requesting comment on matters as specific as communications with aides about the safety of her practices.

Still, Clinton's camp initially expressed satisfaction toward Sullivan's decision to limit her to written testimony, as opposed to the in-person deposition that Judicial Watch originally sought. "This is just another lawsuit intended to try to hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign, and so we are glad that the judge has accepted our offer to answer these questions in writing rather than grant Judicial Watch's request," spokesman Brian Fallon said.