The State Department may wait until after the November election to finish its review of classified information former Secretary Hillary Clinton sent on her secret email account, a spokesman said Tuesday, vowing they will not be held to the political calendar.
“We’re not going to rush judgment of any of these things,” spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
Mrs. Clinton, who rejected use of an account tied to the official state.gov secure email system and instead relied on an account tied to a server she kept at her New York home, returned more than 30,000 messages to the department in December 2014, or nearly two years after she left office.
The department has pored over those emails and as of Monday had released almost all of them, with more than 2,000 having portions redacted because they contain information now deemed “confidential” or “secret.” Another 22 messages deemed “top secret” have been withheld entirely.
None of the information was marked classified at the time, and Mrs. Clinton says she didn’t handle any improper information on her account. But her successor, Secretary of State John Kerry, asked for a review to determine how now-classified information ended up in her messages.
Mr. Kirby said they will not rush that review, even though the outcome could affect voters’ decisions.
“I’m not going to commit to a specific timeline. The secretary wants this review done thoroughly and accurately and efficiently, and he’s not going to allow himself or the process or the department to be driven by the political calendar on this,” the spokesman said.
That stands in contrast with the federal judge who ordered the more than 30,000 messages released to the public. Judge Rudolph Contreras said there was intense voter interest in the messages, and that’s one of the reasons he ordered them all to be released by the last day in February. That was a day before the Super Tuesday slate of primaries, which marked the biggest single day on the nomination calendar.
• Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
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