The State Department has requested a one-month extension on releasing thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails from her tenure as Secretary of State. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said they will release as many emails as possible on January 29th and will release the rest at the end of February if the court grants its request.
The Examiner reported that under the court’s timeline for release, the State was supposed to make public the final batch of documents — which will be the largest in terms of page volume — on Jan. 31. Instead they’re seeking an extension through Feb. 29.
The news comes just days after the intelligence community inspector general told lawmakers that intelligence agencies had discovered classified information in Clinton’s emails that’s even more sensitive than “top secret” — the highest classification of national security information in government. Clinton has consistently maintained that none of the messages were marked classified when she sent them.
The letter reignited questions about a longstanding debate between State and intelligence agencies, who have disagreed about the level of classification necessary for some of the emails that pass through Clinton’s unsecured server.
Clinton has repeatedly lied saying that she did not send classified information over her private email server.
The head of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus described the State Department’s efforts to delay the emails as politically motivated.
“It’s clear that the State Department’s delay is all about ensuring any further damaging developments in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal are revealed only after the votes are counted in the early nominating states.”
Toner said that the State will release as many emails as possible by the deadline. Toner denied the delay has anything to do with the recent debate over classification.
Justice Department lawyers representing State said an “oversight” led officials to discover just last week that 7,254 pages of the emails had not been properly circulated for interagency review. Now, consultations on those records have been delayed by the winter storm bearing down on Washington, the legal filing said.
The State Department’s submission said it may only make about 2,000 pages of messages public by next Friday’s deadline. However, it said some personnel involved in the email review had planned to work through the weekend and now won’t be able to. If the disruption continues into the work week next week, the tally could shrink even further, the filing said.
CNN reported that after misplacing about 7,000 pages of documents for several months, the State Department is now asking a federal judge for more time to release former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails, blaming the blizzard currently slamming Washington.
Lawyers for the department asked Judge Rudolph Contreras on Friday if State can release some of Clinton’s emails on February 29, one month after it was initially supposed to turn over the last of the documents. That would also result in many emails not becoming public until after the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries.
Contreras had ordered the State Department to stick to a monthly production schedule for the emails last May in response to a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit brought by journalist Jason Leopold.
“Because the Clinton email team must perform its work onsite … this storm will disrupt the Clinton email team’s current plans to work a significant number of hours throughout the upcoming weekend and could affect the number of documents that can be produced on January 29, 2016,” State’s lawyers wrote.
Ryan James, a lawyer representing Leopold, told CNN Friday: “It’s baffling why State needs a month to make up for only three days of snow-related office closures.”
Hillary email contained ‘SUPER TOP SECRET’ intel about human spying.