- The Washington Times - Friday, July 31, 2015

The State Department admitted it was violating a judge’s order Friday in releasing only 1,356 new emails from former Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton’s time in the administration, with officials saying they’re falling behind because they are having to run all of the documents by intelligence agencies to make sure classified documents aren’t being released.

It’s the latest stumble for a department put on the spot by Mrs. Clinton’s unique email set-up, which saw her reject a State Department account and instead issue herself a private account, kept on a server she maintained at her New York home — raising questions about security and compliance with open-records laws.

Mrs. Clinton belatedly complied with those laws and returned the emails to the government late last year, nearly two years after she left office, and the department is now trying to fulfill a federal judge’s order setting out a timetable for them to be released.

Mark Toner, a spokesman for the State Department, acknowledged they were violating Judge Rudolph Contreras’s order requiring 2,400 new messages to be released by July 31.

“We fell short this month,” Mr. Toner said. “We’re going to catch up.”

The exchange of sensitive information on her own email server has raised a number of thorny legal and political questions for Mrs. Clinton, who is running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.

She has insisted she didn’t send or receive any information that was classified at the time, but an independent watchdog has said while information wasn’t specifically marked classified, it should have been secret.

The latest release Friday included a number of redactions accounting for those secrets, citing both sensitive foreign government information and information on American foreign policy, including sources, that needed to be protected.

The State Department had originally asked to release all of the emails early next year, but Judge Contreras rejected that, saying the department should release more every month, in the interests of transparency, until they are all released by January.

Mr. Toner said the department still intends to meet the final January deadline, but is slipping on the monthly deadlines — suggesting the administration is defying the judge’s schedule in favor of sticking with its own original goals.

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