US State Dept wants 5yrs to process over 31K pages of Clinton-related emails

© Brian Snyder
It could take the US State Department as long as five years to release over 31,000 Hillary Clinton-related emails, recently found by the FBI on the laptop of her aide’s estranged husband. Accusations of a “political favor for Clinton” abound.

The US State Department said it will be finished reviewing and releasing FBI-retrieved emails from Clinton's time as secretary of state by 2022.

US District Judge James Boasberg slammed the proposed time frame on Monday, saying he is “not satisfied with saying, ‘Fine, go ahead and take five years to do this,’” Politico reported.

The proposal came under fire from Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that filed several Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against the department to force release the Clinton-related documents.

“The Obama State Department is doing a political favor for Hillary Clinton for suggesting to a federal court today that Judicial Watch wait as long as five years to see up to 31,000 new Clinton documents found by the FBI,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement on Monday.

“We learned in this lawsuit that the State Department is slow-walking the release of Hillary Clinton’s deleted and hidden emails. Ironically, this Clinton/Obama State Department stonewalling has guaranteed that the Clinton email scandal won’t be resolved for years,” he added.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner has meanwhile said State expects that most of the 31,200 work-related emails it found “consist of materials from custodians other than former Secretary Clinton.”

“It would be premature and speculative for the Department, or anyone else, to extrapolate conclusions about the contents of these messages until they are reviewed individually,” Toner added, Politico reported.

This comes after the FBI said on Sunday it found no evidence of wrongdoing in its latest investigation into Clinton and her use of private email during her 2009-2013 time as secretary of state. Two days before the election James Comey, the head of the FBI, wrote a letter to Congress saying the agency had found nothing to change its conclusion expressed in July, and will not be recommending criminal charges against Clinton.

The re-launch of the FBI probe risked becoming the last serious blow to the Clinton campaign.

The issue flared up again late last month when Comey said his agents had discovered new emails relating to the Democratic presidential hopeful on the laptop of former Congressman Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, Clinton's senior aide and a close family friend. Weiner’s electronic devices, as well as those belonging to his wife were seized during that investigation.

The FBI’s stand in the Clinton email investigation actually shows a “real split” within the political establishment and the US police departments, Jack Rasmus, professor of political economy, told RT.

“To understand this whole affair with the FBI, starting in July, when FBI Director Comey came out and pretty much gave a clearance to Clinton, you have to understand that the police establishment in the US is strongly pro-Trump,” Rasmus said.

“That is true within the FBI itself. And when Comey came out in July pretty much exonerating Clinton – it resulted in an internal firestorm within the FBI. And then Comey is caught in-between both political wings of the establishment who are going after each other like never before. So, he came out with the statement about 10 days ago trying to balance the FBI’s initial position. He obviously thought that the statement was worded cautiously and would not cause another firestorm - but it did.

“It has affected the Clinton campaign. So, now he is coming out once again and he is clearing the decks for Clinton. What it reflects is a real split within the political establishment and that is reflected within the national security organizations and the police departments and so forth. Comey is trying to cover himself in both directions internally and between the two elites, but he is not doing a very good job.”