- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The State Department told a federal court Tuesday that it will still likely be next year before it’s able to release all of former Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails publicly, though officials said they’ll release them in batches every two months or so between now and then.

Originally, the Obama administration had proposed dumping all 30,000 or so emails on Jan. 15, or just as Mrs. Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, would be preparing to face voters for the Iowa caucuses that kick off primary season.

But Judge Rudolph Contreras rejected that, saying the emails were too important to delay, and demanding the State Department come up with a faster plan.

In response, the administration last week released the first of the emails — nearly 300 messages related to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. Those messages constitute just 1 percent of the total Mrs. Clinton had withheld until she was notified last year that she was in violation of open records laws.

The administration said its next release would be June 30, and it would release more emails every 60 days after that until it has put as many of them in public as it’s able to do so under open records laws.

“The department will strive to produce as many documents as possible on each production date,” the administration assured the judge.

Judge Contreras must still decide whether to accept that schedule.

The State Department said it will consider shifting even more people to help review and process the emails to get them out to the public faster.

But in a previous filing, the department had shown little urgency, saying that while it got the messages from Mrs. Clinton in December, it hadn’t begun scanning them in for processing and release until about two months ago and completed that process earlier in May.

Now staffers are running the messages by other government agencies to see whether parts of the emails should be kept secret.

Part of one message released last week was deemed classified by the FBI and was redacted from the release, sparking questions over whether the administration was trying to shield embarrassing details or whether Mrs. Clinton had shared sensitive information from her private account.

Mrs. Clinton set up her own server at her home in New York and exclusively used that for email during her four years as secretary despite federal guidelines saying that official business was to be conducted on government accounts so that messages could be stored.

Mrs. Clinton didn’t turn over any of her messages until nearly two years after she left office, and only then when prompted by the State Department.

She has since said on the campaign trail that she now wants the emails all made public quickly — though she says that since she has turned them over, she no longer has control of them, and it’s all up to the State Department.

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