State Department will release deleted Clinton emails

The State Department will make public the thousands of deleted work-related emails the FBI uncovered during its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s personal email server, a spokesman said Wednesday.

{mosads}“We will appropriately and with due diligence process any additional material that we receive from the FBI to identify work-related records and make them available to the public,” said deputy spokesman Mark Toner. “That’s consistent with our legal obligations.”

Toner said he did not know how many emails would be released, or when, but vowed to be “as transparent as we possibly can and try to give a timeframe.”

“But at this point, we just don’t know,” he said.

The FBI revealed Tuesday that it would be returning thousands of deleted emails to the State Department to determine whether they were subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

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.

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

Emails made public from the tranche of deleted missives — during the thick of a contentious general election race — could create yet another political attack point for Clinton. Critics and journalists have uncovered messages that at least have the optics of wrongdoing in each batch of emails State has released as part of a FOIA lawsuit lodged by a journalist in 2014.

And critics of Clinton’s email practices are continuing to search for ways to root out wrongdoing by the former secretary. Two leading House Republicans have formally requested that the FBI open an investigation into whether Clinton perjured herself before Congress, while others have demanded to know whether she violated federal record-keeping laws.

Although the Justice Department announced last week that it would not pursue criminal charges against Clinton or her senior aides for mishandling classified information, Attorney General Loretta Lynch confirmed on Tuesday that the federal probe did not examine whether the Federal Records Act or other laws were violated.

The FBI’s letter on Tuesday was released as part of an ongoing FOIA lawsuit against the State Department from conservative group Judicial Watch — one of many the group has levied in an attempt to gain access to documentation surrounding Clinton’s server.

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