Buried: State Dept. releases Clinton emails on New Year’s Eve, misses court quota
As a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the agency was ordered in June to release all 54,000 pages of emails that Hillary Clinton sent during her term as Secretary of State, using a private server.
The monthly quotas set by US District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras mandated the release of 43,000 pages, or 82 percent of all messages, by the end of December, with the remaining emails made public by the end of January 2016.
On Thursday, the State Department announced that the December batch would fall short of the mark, at only 5,500 pages.
“We have worked diligently to come as close to the goal as possible, but with the large number of documents involved and the holiday schedule we have not met the goal this month,” the agency said in a statement on New Year’s Eve.
“To narrow that gap, the State Department will make another production of former Secretary Clinton's email sometime next week.”
Moreover, unlike the previous releases the new batch will not be searchable by subject, author or recipients. Reporters will have to manually review each message.
State has struggled to keep up with the court-mandated monthly schedule, having to review, redact and release the trove turned over by Clinton in November. Another 40,000 pages of emails, deemed private, were deleted by the former Secretary of State, now aiming for the Democrats’ presidential nomination.
In addition, hundreds of messages that Clinton turned over to the State Department contain information that has since been deemed classified. Clinton maintains the information was not secret at the time the emails were sent.
Clinton’s use of a private email server during her mandate at State has been a subject of controversy all year, in light of her presidential campaign. The Republican majority in Congress has pressed the former chief diplomat over her handling of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, in which a US diplomat and three other Americans were killed.
Many of the emails under scrutiny came from controversial adviser and Clinton Foundation retainer Sidney Blumenthal.
Most of Clinton’s missives to her staff at State amounted to “Please print.”