Judge Sets Timetable for Release of Clinton Emails

The State Department will have to make documents public more often than it proposed earlier this week.

Ben Geman
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Ben Geman
May 27, 2015, 12:08 p.m.

A federal judge Wednesday ordered the State Department to release all of Hillary Clinton’s department emails by Jan. 29, setting a schedule that calls for more frequent disclosures than the Obama administration proposed.

The order, from Judge Rudolph Contreras, would require the department to hand over the first batch June 30, and then release more every 30 days thereafter. And by late January, State will be required to have finished disclosing the 55,000 pages of emails turned over from Clinton’s private server.

On Tuesday, the Obama administration proposed releasing the emails every 60 days starting June 30 and finishing by late January. Last week, the judge rejected an earlier State plan that would have kept almost all of the the emails out of public view until mid-January.

The schedule that Contreras ordered ensures that Clinton’s presidential campaign must compete monthly with new documents that will attract intense scrutiny from her GOP adversaries and the press.

The order also gives State targets for how much should be released every 30 days, reaching just over half of the pages total by late October.

Last week, Clinton told reporters in Iowa that she wants the State Department to release the messages, which she turned over to the department in December, as fast as possible. “As much as they can expedite that process, that is what I am asking them to do, please move as quickly as they can possibly can,” she said.

Last week, State released roughly 300 messages, spanning 850 pages, related to Libya and the Benghazi attacks. Those messages had been provided to the House Select Committee on Benghazi months ago.

The panel’s GOP chairman, Trey Gowdy, has said he will not call Clinton to testify until he has much more information from State. In March he subpoenaed the department for messages among Clinton’s senior aides at State, and says State has not complied with his quest for documents despite the committee mandate.

The State Department says it has been cooperating with Gowdy’s probe, and provided more documents late last week. “The Department produced an additional 1200 pages of emails to the Committee last Friday from Secretary Clinton’s staff. These documents were produced in response to a March subpoena from the Select Committee,” said State spokesman Alec Gerlach.

However, Republicans on the Benghazi committee are still seeking far more from State. A spokesman for Gowdy said the documents delivered to the committee Friday comprised only some of the emails from a single senior Clinton aide.

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