FBI to give deleted Clinton emails back to State Dept.

FBI to give deleted Clinton emails back to State Dept.
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The FBI will give the State Department thousands of deleted work-related emails that it uncovered while investigating Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton responds to Trump tweets telling Dem lawmakers to 'go back' to their countries The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur: Here's how to choose a president MORE's private server.

The bureau said in a letter filed with a federal court late Tuesday afternoon that, now that the investigation into Clinton is over, it would turn over the emails over to the State Department for record-keeping.

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“During the course of the investigation, the FBI obtained certain information that may include agency records of the State Department,” general counsel James Baker told the department.

“In accordance with our policies and procedures, the FBI will be providing this information to your department for review and determination of record status pursuant to the Federal Records Act and subsequent FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] processing as appropriate.”

According to FBI Director James Comey, investigators “discovered several thousand work-related" messages that were not among the roughly 30,000 emails Clinton gave to the government in 2014. The former secretary of State and her lawyers deleted approximately half of the 60,000 emails on her server, claiming at the time that they were purely personal and did not belong in the government’s hands.

The FBI recovered the emails through digital traces left on decommissioned servers and via the inboxes of people with whom Clinton communicated, Comey said.

The State Department did not indicate whether it would release the thousands of new emails to the public, as it did with the 30,000 emails she had already handed over.

“We’re going to continue to work with the FBI on the proper disposition,” department spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday. “And I don’t have anything with respect to potential release to speak to right now.”

Newly released Clinton emails right in the thick of the general election could turn into a political liability for Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Critics and journalists combed Clinton's emails as they were publicly released and routinely uncovered messages included at least a whiff of wrongdoing on her part.

Last week, the Justice Department announced that it would not pursue criminal charges against Clinton or her senior aides for mishandling classified information. On Tuesday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch confirmed that the federal probe only examined treatment of government secrets and did not examine whether the Federal Records Act or other laws were violated.    

The FBI’s letter on Tuesday was released as part of a FOIA lawsuit against the State Department from conservative group Judicial Watch.