The State Department will release 1,000 pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails Friday evening, less than half of what it said it planned to release last week and just over 10 percent of what a federal judge had ordered it to publish by the end of this month.
This is the second downward revision of what was supposed to be the final monthly release of Clinton’s emails. But the State Department claimed in a court filing last week that it had discovered 7,200 pages of emails that it had failed to provide to other federal agencies for review. Government lawyers asked a federal judge for an additional month to complete the review and to publish the remaining emails, which total more than 9,000 pages altogether.The agency plans to release 1,000 pages of Clinton records at 7 p.m. That is far short of what the State Department said last week that it planned to release.
“Nonetheless, State expects, absent interruption from the snowstorm beyond the weekend, that on January 29, 2016, it will be able to complete processing and posting of almost all of the approximately 2,053 pages for which agency consultation has been completed, and will post any other pages that are returned and can be made ready for release by that date,” last week’s court filing reads.
The agency appears to be using as an excuse a snow storm that hit Washington D.C. over the weekend and shut down federal government operations for several days. A request for comment was not immediately returned.
The release late Friday leaves little time for reporters to scour through Clinton’s emails before Monday’s Iowa caucuses. The attorney representing Jason Leopold, the reporter who filed suit for Clinton’s emails, had pressured the State Department to release the emails according to schedule in order to have the records available before the first wave of caucuses and primaries.
And the government has indicated that the remaining emails could contain a trove of interesting information. In court papers filed on Thursday, Justice Department lawyers indicated that the most complex of the Clinton emails have yet to be released. (RELATED: State Dept. Indicates That The Most ‘Complex’ Clinton Emails Have Yet To Be Released)
If Rudolph Contreras — the federal judge handling the case — grants the State Department’s request, the remaining 8,000-plus pages of Clinton’s emails will drop on Feb. 29.
The Republican National Committee responded immediately to the State Department’s announcement of a smaller-than-expected release.
“Today’s filing is further proof that the Obama Administration would rather flaunt an order from a federal judge than reveal just how badly Hillary Clinton’s reckless conduct jeopardized our national security,” RNC chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement. “The notion that a months-long process could be hit with 11th hour delays reeks of political favoritism designed to hide the ball from voters on the eve of early state voting.”
“Voters deserve to know the facts before they cast their ballots, not after,” he added. “Hillary Clinton’s actions violated the public trust and now it appears the Obama Administration is content to do the same.”