WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has rejected an effort to force Hillary Rodham Clinton to testify in a decade-old lawsuit over White House acquisition of FBI background files.

The court ruling spares Clinton a politically sensitive deposition at a time when she is fighting to overtake Barack Obama in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The lawsuit is over the Clinton White House's acquisition of hundreds of FBI files on Republican appointees to White House jobs in previous administrations. The conservative group Judicial Watch accused the former first lady of masterminding a conspiracy and has been trying to question her for years.