New Benghazi emails released, contain little of substance

New Benghazi emails released, contain little of substance
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The State Department on Wednesday publicly released three new email messages that had been retrieved by the FBI from Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSusan Collins signals she won't campaign against Biden Cuccinelli says rule forcing international students to return home will 'encourage schools to reopen' Clinton labels ICE decision on international students 'cruel' and 'unnecessary' MORE’s private server pertaining to the 2012 attacks on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya.

The content of the messages is trivial, however, revealing only a congratulatory note from a senior State Department official following an appearance by Clinton on Capitol Hill, months after the attacks.

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The emails offer little ammunition for Clinton’s critics, who have hounded her for more than a year over both the private server she used as secretary of State and the 2012 Benghazi attacks.

“I watched with great admiration as [Clinton] dealt with a tough and personally painful issue in a fair, candidate and determined manner,” then-Ambassador to Brazil Thomas Shannon wrote in one of the newly unearthed emails, from January 2013. Shannon is now the State Department’s undersecretary for political affairs.  

“I am thankful for her leadership, proud of her commitment to the Foreign Service, and honored to be part of her team.”

Of the three emails, only the message from Shannon was entirely new. The other two were merely forwarded copies of emails that had been previously released, with an added comment by Clinton asking for an aide to print the email messages for her.

The messages were released Wednesday in a court filing as part of a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that is seeking all emails to or from Clinton related to the Benghazi attacks. Four Americans were killed in the violence, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.   

“These new Benghazi-Clinton emails prove that Hillary or her lawyers deleted material which proved to be responsive to federal court orders and congressional subpoenas,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement. 

“Clinton’s email cover-up scheme is as plain as day.”

The State Department had previously handed over 343 emails as part of the suit, but the new messages were among the roughly 15,000 discovered by the FBI as it investigated whether Clinton’s email setup had resulted in the mishandling of classified information.

In late August, the State Department said the number of new Benghazi-related emails might be as high as 30 but that many of those might be duplicates.

Aside for the three messages released Wednesday, all those messages were either duplicates or had already been released, the government said. Judicial Watch is contesting that claim, pointing to what the State Department has called “internal technical metadata” on the emails, which had not been previously released.

- Updated at 1:48 p.m.