The FBI turned over an additional 14,900 documents to the State Department that include emails Hillary Clinton’s lawyers failed to add to the batch of 30,000 that Clinton attorneys originally handed over.
The revelation came following a court hearing in an FOIA suit by Judicial Watch, which is suing Hillary Clinton for documents related to her private email server.
The FBI previously revealed that there were additional documents that were discovered during their criminal investigation of Clinton, but did not say how many.
No one expected the number to be 50% of the 30,000 emails Clinton turned over.
The FBI’s year-long investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server uncovered 14,900 emails and documents from her time as secretary of state that had not been disclosed by her attorneys, and a federal judge on Monday pressed the State Department to begin releasing emails sooner than mid-October as it planned.
Justice Department lawyers said last week that the State Department would review and turn over Clinton’s work-related emails to a conservative legal group. The records are among “tens of thousands” of documents found by the FBI in its probe and turned over to the State Department, Justice Department attorney Lisa Ann Olson said Monday in court.
The 14,900 Clinton documents are nearly 50 percent more than the roughly 30,000 emails that Clinton’s lawyers deemed work-related and returned to the department in December 2014.
Lawyers for the State Department and Judicial Watch, the legal group, are negotiating a plan for the release of the emails in a civil public records lawsuit before U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg of Washington.
In a statement after a hearing at the U.S. district courthouse in Washington, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said the group was pleased that Boasberg rejected the department’s proposal to begin releasing documents weekly on Oct. 14, ordering it instead to prioritize Clinton’s emails and to return to court Sept. 22 with a new plan.
“We’re pleased the court accelerated the State Department’s timing,” Fitton said. “We’re trying to work with the State Department here, but let’s be clear: They have slow-walked and stonewalled the release of these records. They’ve had many of them since July 25 … and not one record has yet been released, and we don’t understand why that’s the case.”
In a statement, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the agency previously agreed voluntarily to hand over emails sent or received by Clinton in her official capacity as secretary from 2009 to 2013 but that tens of thousands of documents would have to be “carefully appraised at State” to separate official records from personal ones.
Since there are work-related emails in this new batch, why weren’t they turned over to the State Department previously? Where were they stored? Who had access to them?
There’s little doubt that at least some of those emails will be duplicates of documents already released. And most are probably innocuous. Presumably, since the FBI handed them over, they have read them and have concluded there is nothing that indicates criminal activity.
But that’s missing the point. Clinton’s lawyers told us straight out that all emails were supplied to the State Department. The candidate herself keeps telling us there’s nothing to this story, that it’s all made up by the vast right-wing conspiracy to make her look bad.
In this case — as in most cases — Hillary Clinton doesn’t need any help to look bad. She does fine on that score all by herself.