FBI to begin transferring deleted Clinton emails Friday

FBI to begin transferring deleted Clinton emails Friday
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The FBI on Friday will begin sending the “several thousand” deleted work-related emails sent through Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton slams Trump for spreading 'sexist trash' about Pelosi Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign DNC boss says candidates to be involved in debate lottery MORE’s private sever that it uncovered during its investigation to the State Department, government lawyers said Monday.

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The State Department will then process and make public those emails on a “rolling” basis, Department of Justice attorney Caroline Wolverton told U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan during oral arguments in a public-records lawsuit connected to Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State.

Sullivan seemed annoyed that the FBI was taking that much time to transfer the documents.

“It seems to me they could figure out how to transfer [the emails] immediately upon request,” Sullivan said, suggesting that the FBI could just “push a button.”

Wolverton said the delay will ensure that the State Department receives the documents in a format that it is able to process and read.

Sullivan also repeatedly pressed the government on the exact number of emails, which Wolverton said she did not know.

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.

The law enforcement agency has closed its investigation into Clinton’s server and announced it would return the emails to the State Department to determine whether they were subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The department last week said that it would make public the returned emails “appropriately and with due diligence.”

Emails made public from the tranche of deleted messages — during the thick of a contentious presidential race — could create yet another political attack point against Clinton, who is expected to be nominated for president at the Democratic National Convention next week.

Critics and journalists have uncovered emails that at least have the optics of wrongdoing in each batch State has released as part of a FOIA lawsuit lodged by a journalist in 2014.

Wolverton provided few other details about the expected documents, except that they contain emails from longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s clintonemail.com account.