Judge Orders State to Begin Releasing Clinton Emails next Month
A judge ordered the State Department to start releasing the other 15,000 emails that were retrieved by the FBI during their investigation into Hillary Clinton.
The Hill reports:
The date is a full month earlier than agency officials had hoped to begin the release.
State Department officials confirmed the existence of those emails to a separate federal judge on Monday. They also claimed they would need until Oct. 14 to review the documents to determine which were work-related and to prepare those for release. That judge had decided to give the State Department until Sept. 23 to iron out a schedule to release the emails in batches.
But another judge in Florida, overseeing a separate complaint from Judicial Watch, ruled Thursday that State must start releasing those emails on Sept. 13. That ruling would force to agency to drastically ramp up its work.
Judicial Watch lauded the judge’s decision and accused Clinton of trying to delete relevant work emails.
It’s “no wonder federal courts in Florida and DC are ordering the State Department to stop stalling and begin releasing the 14,900 new Clinton emails,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in the statement.
The judge’s ruling, though, doesn’t mean that all emails will be released. The ruling only covers emails covered under Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act request on the Benghazi attacks and other matters.
State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said in a statement that it’s still unclear whether any of the new emails would qualify for release.
“As we have said, the Department agreed to search the materials we received from the FBI in response to several pending FOIA requests and, to the extent responsive records are identified, produce them,” Trudeau said in a statement.
“Using broad search terms, we have identified a number of documents potentially responsive to a Benghazi-related request. At this time, we have not confirmed that the documents are, in fact, responsive. We also have not determined if they involve Secretary Clinton.”
The new emails, turned over to the State Department by the FBI, are the latest revelation in the Clinton email saga that has dogged the Democratic presidential nominee since last spring. The new round of releases will keep the spotlight on the controversy and pressure on Clinton in the run-up to the election.
Clinton gave the State Department about 30,000 emails from her private server last year, which have been released by the agency on a rolling basis. She said she also deleted another 30,000 that she considered personal.
But FBI Director James Comey said in a press conference last month that Clinton had deleted “several thousand” work-related emails too, which the agency was able to recover.
It’s unclear how many of the new emails are work related, or if the agency will be able to release all relevant emails before Election Day on Nov. 8.
Clinton’s critics will keep up pressure for the State Department to act quickly.
Judicial Watch has previously accused the department of trying to slow the release of prior emails to avoid hurting Clinton ahead of the election.
The Justice Department cleared Clinton of allegations she mishandled classified information, but still criticized her use of the private email server.
The latest email discovery has only given new fire to Republicans, many of whom have questioned if Clinton received favorable treatment from the DOJ and if she misled Congress about her emails.
GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has hammered Clinton over the email controversy and over her family’s charity, the Clinton Foundation. Earlier this week, he called for a special investigator to look into those matters.
Photo credit: Stop Making Sense.