Beng­hazi emails may be among re­cov­ered

Judge presses feds on timetable for Clin­ton doc­u­ments

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Eric Tucker and Michael Biesecker

WASH­ING­TON — The State De­part­ment says about 30 emails that may be re­lated to the 2012 at­tack on U.S. com­pounds in Beng­hazi, Libya, are among the thou­sands of Hil­lary Clin­ton emails re­cov­ered dur­ing the FBI’s re­cently closed in­ves­ti­ga­tion into her use of a pri­vate server.

Govern­ment lawyers told U.S. Dis­trict Court Judge Amit P. Me­hta on Tues­day that an un­de­ter­mined num­ber of the emails among the 30 were not in­cluded in the 55,000 pages pre­vi­ously pro­vided by Clin­ton. The State De­part­ment’s lawyer said it would need un­til the end of Septem­ber to re­view the emails and redact potentially clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion be­fore they are re­leased.

Me­hta ques­tioned why it would take so long to re­lease so few doc­u­ments and urged that the process be sped up. He or­dered the de­part­ment to re­port to him in a week with more de­tails about why the re­view process would take a month.

The hear­ing was held in one of sev­eral law­suits filed by the con­ser­va­tive le­gal group Ju­di­cial Watch, which has sued over ac­cess to govern­ment records in­volv­ing the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee.

The State De­part­ment has said the FBI pro­vided it with about 14,900 emails pur­ported not to have been among those pre­vi­ously re­leased.

Clin­ton pre­vi­ously said she with­held and deleted only per­sonal emails not re­lated to her du­ties as sec­re­tary of state. With the Hil­lary Clin­ton signs a book for neigh­bor­hood chil­dren Tues­day fol­low­ing a fundraiser in Sagaponack, N.Y. Novem­ber elec­tion lit­tle more than two months away, Repub­li­cans are press­ing for the re­lease of as many doc­u­ments re­lated to Clin­ton as pos­si­ble.

In a sep­a­rate devel­op­ment Tues­day, Ju­di­cial Watch sub­mit­ted 25 ques­tions to Clin­ton about her 2009 de­ci­sion to rely on a pri­vate server in the base­ment of her New York home rather than a govern­ment email ac­count.

Clin­ton was or­dered ear­lier this month by U.S. Dis­trict Court Judge Em­met G. Sul­li­van to an­swer the group’s ques­tions un­der oath. The judge’s or­der was only a partial vic­tory for the group, which had sought to de­pose Clin­ton in per­son.

It was not im­me­di­ately clear from the word­ing of Sul­li­van’s or­der whether Clin­ton must an­swer the ques­tions be­fore or af­ter the Novem­ber elec­tion. Ju­di­cial Watch con­tends the dead­line is Sept. 29.

Clin­ton lawyer David Ken­dall did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to an email seek­ing com­ment about the tim­ing of his client’s planned re­sponse. A woman who an­swered the phone at Sul­li­van’s cham­bers said he was un­avail­able to pro­vide clar­i­fi­ca­tion.

A law en­force­ment offi- cial also told The As­so­ci­ated Press on Tues­day that the FBI is ex­pected to re­lease doc­u­ments soon re­lated to its in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which fo­cused on whether Clin­ton and her aides mis­han­dled govern­ment se­crets.

The of­fi­cial, who wasn’t au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the mat­ter by name and spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, said doc­u­ments in the case would be made pub­lic as the FBI re­sponds to Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act re­quests. It wasn’t im­me­di­ately clear when the doc­u­ments would be re­leased or what they would in­clude.

Though he de­scribed Clin­ton’s ac­tions as “ex­tremely care­less,” FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey said his agents found no ev­i­dence that any­one in­tended to break the law and said “no rea­son­able pros­e­cu­tor” would have brought a crim­i­nal case.

The FBI this month pro­vided Congress por­tions of its file from the agency’s year­long in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The FBI in­ter­viewed Clin­ton for sev­eral hours just days be­fore an­nounc­ing its de­ci­sion to close the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The Jus­tice De­part­ment ac­cepted the FBI’s rec­om­men­da­tion.

AN­DREW HARNIK/AP

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