By Julian Hattem - 09/25/15 03:08 PM EDT
Obama administration officials made new revelations about Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonIt's time for Sanders to exit stage left Navy SEAL congressman endorses Trump RNC’s Katie Walsh: A behind-the-scenes leader MORE’s emails on Friday, as the ongoing controversy continues to spin against the Democratic presidential front-runner.
In one announcement, a senior State Department official said that the department was handing over “a small number” of new emails related to the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, to a House committee investigating the incident.
The news builds on the growing scrutiny on Clinton, which has threatened to derail her White House campaign.
The AP report in particular is likely to add to mounting allegations that Clinton had repeatedly tried to deceive the public by using a personal email address routed through a private server.
According to the report, the email chain was with retired Gen. David Petraeus, and took place in the first few days after Clinton entered the State Department. At the time, Clinton was using neither a department-provided email address nor the “clintonemail.com” account which she used throughout her tenure as secretary of State.
The messages were largely about personnel issues, the AP reported, and don’t appear to discuss highly classified material.
Yet they fly in the face of Clinton’s previous claim that she had turned over all of her work-related emails.
“We provided all of them,” she said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” in recent days.
The Republican National Committee was quick to jump on the news.
"This discrepancy raises serious questions and fits a pattern of dishonesty on the part of Hillary Clinton, her campaign, and the State Department designed to hide the truth," committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. "Once again, Hillary Clinton has shown that she cannot be taken at her word and that she cannot be trusted in the White House.”
Meanwhile, the senior State Department official told The Hill that the handful of undisclosed emails in the government’s possession — which the official could not quantify — are contained in a much larger batch of 925 emails related to Libya more broadly.
The fact that some of the emails were not included in a February handover of documents appear to have been a mere oversight, the official said, because the initial search “was done in paper form.”
Now that the emails have all been uploaded into the State Department’s electronic systems, the additional documents appear to have been found.
Others, meanwhile, are “substantially personal in nature but reference Benghazi,” the official said.
“We will continue to respond to the Benghazi Committee’s requests, but as they mount and modify over time, so too must we plan accordingly for the time and resources they consume," they added.
The revelation of the new emails is likely to incite new anger from Republican leaders of the Benghazi panel, who have long accused the Obama administration of stonewalling their probe into the 2012 attack, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
“The State Department, which has failed to comply with multiple Benghazi Committee requests and failed to act in good faith, is now indicating it intends to foster a more cooperative relationship with the committee,” committee spokesman Jamal Ware said in a statement.
“If indeed this is a sign the stonewalling and political protection effort that was previously being run by the Department is diminishing, the Committee welcomes it. The proof will be in the production.”
The panel has focused particular attention to Clinton’s use of a personal email address based on a private server, a revelation that has damaged her presidential campaign.
The emails have been implicated in nearly three-dozen ongoing public-records lawsuits against the State Department, and the ongoing fallout threatens to stretch at least into 2016.
As result of one lawsuit, the department has begun releasing some of the roughly 30,000 work-related emails every month, with a goal of having them all made public by mid-January.
Clinton will testify to the Benghazi Committee in October.
“The department has worked with the committee to identify its priorities ahead of their upcoming hearing with former Secretary Clinton, and has been producing documents based on the committee’s defined priorities,” the senior State Department official said.