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Saturday, February 20, 2016

State releases Clinton email batch one day before Nevada caucuses

Julian Hattem

The State Department on Friday released more than 500 emails from Hillary Clinton’s personal stash, hours before the Democratic caucuses in Nevada.
Friday evening’s release came as result of a federal judge’s demand earlier this month. The judge had expressed visible frustration with the government’s inability to meet its Jan. 29 deadline for releasing the last of Clinton’s emails from her “homebrew” server.
“We take our obligations to the court very seriously and are making every effort to comply with this order,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters earlier Friday.
Of the 562 emails, which add up to more than 1,100 pages, 64 were classified. All of those were at the relatively low level of “confidential” and none were marked as classified when they were sent, a State Department official said.
With the latest batch, there are more than 1,700 emails from Clinton’s machine that are now classified.
Among the classified emails was an extended discussion about efforts to recover four New York Times reporters who had been captured in Libya in 2011, as well as the 2012 death of Ethiopia’s prime minister.  
In many cases, Clinton did not send the emails that are now considered classified.
After Friday, there are roughly 3,000 pages of emails that have yet to be released to the public.
The Obama administration has been ordered to release them in two separate batches over the next two weeks: Feb. 26, the day before the Democratic primary in South Carolina; and Feb. 29, one day before the “Super Tuesday” nominating contest.
Clinton’s bespoke email arrangement has been a headache for the State Department, which has been hounded by requests to make the messages public.
The setup has also dogged the former secretary of State’s presidential campaign.
Revelations that more than 1,500 emails were classified — and that 22 were given the highest classification of “top secret” — have prompted allegations that she failed to protect secret government information.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Friday evening claimed that Clinton’s email releases are “yet another reminder of just how recklessly she handled classified material and jeopardized national security.
“With State Department and FBI investigations into her email in full swing, it’s no wonder Americans increasingly see her as too dishonest and untrustworthy to be president, and voters caucusing in Nevada this Saturday will have the opportunity to hold her accountable for her secrecy and poor judgment.”
The FBI currently has possession of Clinton’s personal server, and has been investigating whether information was mishandled. 
- Updated at 7:21 p.m.

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