Pompeo denies push for Clinton emails violates Hatch Act

Pompeo denies push for Clinton emails violates Hatch Act
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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike Pompeo,800 bottle of whiskey given to Pompeo by Japan is missing Noem to travel to South Carolina for early voting event Poll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis MORE on Wednesday pushed back against the notion that he is violating the Hatch Act and campaigning for President TrumpDonald TrumpMajority of Americans in new poll say it would be bad for the country if Trump ran in 2024 ,800 bottle of whiskey given to Pompeo by Japan is missing Liz Cheney says her father is 'deeply troubled' about the state of the Republican Party MORE by agreeing to release emails linked to former secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBriahna Joy Gray: Progressives like Turner should reconsider running as Democrats Biden wishes Obama a happy birthday Ohio special election: A good day for Democrats MORE’s private server amid pressure from President Trump.

“Releasing emails for the sake of transparency can't possibly be a violation of the Hatch Act,” Pompeo said in response to a reporter during a briefing at the State Department. "That's a ridiculous question."

Weeks before the election, Trump is pressing Pompeo to release emails from Clinton, the president's Democratic rival in 2016, that may have put classified information at risk of exposure.

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Trump attacked Pompeo last week in an interview with Maria BartiromoMaria Sara BartiromoGraham says he'd 'leave town' to stop .5T spending plan The Memo: Trump pours gas on tribalism with Jan. 6 rewrite Trump: Tech giants 'immune from so many different things, but they're not immune from the lawsuit' MORE of Fox Business, saying he was “not happy” with the secretary for not finding and releasing emails that Clinton is believed to have deleted or kept on a private server.

"They’re in the State Department, but Mike Pompeo has been unable to get them out, which is very sad, actually," Trump said in the interview. "I’m not happy about him for that reason. He was unable to get them out. I don’t know why. You’re running the State Department, you get them out."

Ahead of the presidential election in 2016, the FBI cleared Clinton of wrongdoing in using a private email server but said she had been “extremely careless” in her handling of classified information.

Pompeo on Wednesday said that the State Department had already made available tens of thousands of Clinton’s emails on its website in response to various inquiries and requests from Congress. When asked by a reporter, he did not address how many more emails the agency is planning to release nor did he address what State Department resources would be used to release the Clinton emails and who is in charge of the task.

Pompeo also pushed back on the idea that his push to release more of Clinton’s emails came under pressure from the president, saying instead that it is part of an “ongoing process” that has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.