Washington, Aug 26 (IANS) A federal judge has ordered the US State Department to start releasing by September 13 an additional 15,000 emails uncovered during the FBI’s investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private server.
On Monday, State Department officials confirmed the existence of those emails to a separate federal judge, The Hill daily reported.
They also claimed they would need until October 14 to review the documents to determine which were work-related and to prepare those for release. That judge had decided to give the State Department until September 23 to figure a schedule to release the emails in batches.
But another judge in Florida ruled on Thursday that the State must start releasing those emails by September 13, The Hill reported.
Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group lauded the judge’s decision and accused Clinton of trying to delete relevant work emails.
It is “no wonder federal courts in Florida and Washington DC are ordering the State Department to stop stalling and begin releasing the 14,900 new Clinton emails”, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in the statement.
The ruling, however, only covers emails covered under Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act request on the Benghazi attacks and other matters.
Clinton gave the State Department about 30,000 emails from her private server last year, which have been released by the agency on a rolling basis. She said she also deleted another 30,000 that she considered personal, The Hill noted.
But Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey said in a press conference last month that Clinton had deleted “several thousand” work-related emails, too, which the agency was able to recover.
It is unclear how many of the new emails are work related, or if the agency will be able to release all relevant emails before the presidential elections on November 8.
The Justice Department cleared Clinton of allegations that she mishandled classified information while she was Secretary of State but still criticised her use of the private email server.