Federal Judge Rejects State Department’s Plan To Release Hillary’s Emails In 2016

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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A federal judge is blocking the State Department’s plan to release 55,000 pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails next January and is ordering the agency to release the records incrementally.
U.S. District Court judge Rudolph Contreras issued the ruling Tuesday morning, a day after the State Department responded to a lawsuit filed by Vice News stating that it planned to make Clinton’s emails available by Jan. 15, 2016 — just two weeks before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.
According to Politico, Contreras is forcing the agency to provide a timeline for the rolling release of Clinton’s emails. On top of that, State must provide an exact date for when it will release the 300 emails that have already been turned over to the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

Clinton’s emails, which were turned over to the State Department in December, became the subject of intense interest after it was revealed in March that Clinton used only a private email account hosted on a private server during her entire tenure at the State Department.

In Monday’s court filing, John Hackett, who heads the State Department’s Freedom of Information Act division, said that processing the emails for release is slow-going because the agency has to consult “a broad range of subject matter experts within the department and other agencies as well as potentially foreign governments.”

He also stated that a team consisting of a project manager, two case analysts, and nine FOIA reviewers are working exclusively on the Clinton email project.

In March, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that the email review would take “several months.”

According to Vice, the Clinton email team has had to scan 12 “bankers’ boxes” worth of printed emails. The team has met “daily since April to implement and oversee this large undertaking,” Hackett said.

Since October, the State Department has received 14,000 new FOIA requests and is “currently engaged in nearly 80 FOIA litigation cases.”

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