State Department Releases Nearly 300 Of Hillary Clinton's Private Emails

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Hillary Clinton.Hillary Clinton.

The first set of Hillary Clinton’s emails from her personal account were released on May 22. Only 296 of the emails were released, although the State Department is reviewing 55,000 messages from Clinton’s email account. Clinton didn’t have a government email between 2009 and 2013. 

The State Department revealed that one of the email exchanges did contain classified material, although she stated before that there was never any sensitive content. Brian Fallon, a Clinton spokesman, said on Twitter that the information was only classified “in recent days.” 

The document was apparently classified on May 22 and State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said less than two sentences were re-classified as “SECRET” at the FBI’s request and confirmed the information was not considered sensitive when it was sent to a House committee investigating Benghazi.

“It wasn’t classified at the time,” Harf said. “The occurrence of a subsequent upgrade doesn’t mean that anyone did anything wrong.”

In a March press conference regarding her use of a personal email account. Clinton said, ”I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material… So, I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

Clinton announced she has turned over all of the relevant emails from her personal email account. “We have released all of them that have any government relationship,” she said in New Hampshire. “I’m aware that the FBI has asked that a portion of one email be held back. That happens in the process … That doesn’t change the fact that all of the information in the emails was handled appropriately.”

She added: "I'm glad that the emails are starting to come out. This is something that I've asked to be done."

The State Department said on Twitter: “The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during or after the attacks.”

Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the House committee investigating events surrounding the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, said they were not ready to "reach any investigative conclusions,” until it has reviewed other documents. "These emails continue to reinforce the fact that unresolved questions and issues remain as it relates to Benghazi," he said.

Gowdy added: “To assume a self-selected public record is complete, when no one with a duty or responsibility to the public had the ability to take part in the selection, requires a leap in logic no impartial reviewer should be required to make and strains credibility.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the highest ranking Democrat on the Benghazi committee, said in a statement that now is the right time to schedule Clinton’s testimony. “Instead of the selective leaking that has happened so far, the American people can now read all of these emails and see for themselves that they contain no evidence to back up claims that Secretary Clinton ordered a stand-down, approved an illicit weapons program or any other wild allegation Republicans have made for years,” Cummings said.

It appears Clinton did not break any laws, but a private server was used to receive sensitive information. It is unclear when the rest of the emails will be released, but it will happen in stages.

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Sources: Politico, BBC News

Image via Marc Nozell/Flickr