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Ruling Means Most of Hillary Clinton's Emails Will Come Out After Election
A federal judge on Friday ordered the State Department to finish preparing roughly 1,000 pages of Hillary Clinton's emails for release by Nov. 4, a more protracted timetable that means the bulk of Mrs. Clinton's emails that were uncovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation will not be released until after the election.
In August, the judge, James E. Boasberg of Federal District Court, raised the prospect of a flood of Clinton emails being released during the final weeks of the campaign, when he ordered the State Department to accelerate the release of nearly 15,000 new emails.
But Judge Boasberg acknowledged the burden for the department's lawyers in reviewing thousands of emails, as well as responding to multiple lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act that seek documents relating to Mrs. Clinton, her aide Huma Abedin, and the Clinton Foundation.
Under the order issued on Friday, in a lawsuit brought by the conservative group, Judicial Watch, the State Department will release 350 pages of emails by Oct. 7, 350 pages by Oct. 21, and another 350 by Nov. 4. After that, it will produce 500 pages a month. Judge Boasberg summoned the lawyers for another status report on Nov. 7, the day before the election.
Questions about Mrs. Clinton's private email address and server have hung over her presidential campaign for more than a year, even after the F.B.I.'s director, James B. Comey, said in July that her conduct did not warrant criminal charges for mishandling of classified information. Mr. Comey said the F.B.I. had discovered thousands of emails that Mrs. Clinton had not voluntarily turned over to the State Department before its investigation.
Of the nearly 15,000 emails the F.B.I. turned over to the State Department in late July, roughly 9,400 were purely personal, according to the department's lawyers. They will therefore not be released. That leaves about 5,600 work-related emails to be reviewed. But roughly half of those may be wholly or largely duplicates of emails that have already been released.
Duplicates could take the form of a previously released email, which Mrs. Clinton may have forwarded to her aides with orders to print it out. In some cases, the emails were part of long chains, on which Mrs. Clinton was copied at the beginning, but later left off the list of addressees.
"We are currently processing these documents for release," said the State Department spokesman, John Kirby. "As we have done so, we have noticed that some personal emails remain within the approximately 5,600 documents, so the number may be further reduced."
Each email generates roughly 1.8 pages of print, a government lawyer said, which means about 10,000 pages will be released in total. Only about 10 percent will be made public before the election, which prompted a complaint from Judicial Watch.
"The public deserves to know what is in those emails, well before Nov. 8, and the State Department should not continue dragging its feet on producing them," the group's president, Tom Fitton, said in a statement. "The American people need to pressure State to stop sitting on these new Clinton emails for political reasons and release them as the law requires."
[Source: By Mark Landler, International New York Times, Washington, 23Sep16]
Privacy and counterintelligence
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