A federal judge on Tuesday gave the State Department until February 2017 to release the full 1,600-page file of records about official events during Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty MORE’s tenure, assuring that the full batch is not public by Election Day.
Judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia declared that the State Department will have to release at least 300 pages of the records per month to the Republican National Committee (RNC), which has sued the Obama administration over the materials.
The order is nonetheless a setback for the RNC, which had pleaded with the court in August for the entire slate of records to be made public well before the November election.
“The RNC believes that State should produce all the responsive documents no later than October 15, 2016,” it said in an August court filing.
At issue are details about official functions held in the State Department’s ornate Diplomatic Reception Room during the time that Clinton was secretary of State, including guest lists.
The RNC had filed a lawsuit seeking the information under the Freedom of Information Act, presumably to see whether a disproportionate number of non-governmental associates of Clinton’s were invited to the events.
Republicans have attacked Clinton for suspicious overlaps between her official duties and those of the Clinton Foundation, and for the appearance that prominent donors to the foundation were given special access to the State Department.
The RNC had also sued to obtain visitors' logs from Clinton’s office in the State Department, but the agency has claimed that it has none in its possession.
The two have bickered over the scope of the request, and the RNC had hoped to resolve the matter before the elections. The State Department, meanwhile, had hoped to push the fight into next summer.
The judge on Tuesday ruled in favor of the RNC, granting a timetable for the two sides to file briefs over the course of the next two weeks.