The U.S. State Department said today that about 30 or so emails out of the nearly 15,000 the FBI obtained from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton may have involved Benghazi.
Last week, officials announced that the FBI had recovered 14,900 emails that Clinton did not turn over with the server she used while secretary of State.
From the Washington Post:
"At this point there are 30 potentially responsive documents" to the Benghazi matter, Justice Department attorney Robert J. Prince told U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta of Washington. Prince asked to have until Sept. 30 to review the emails for possible classified information which also may require reviews by agencies outside the State Department.
The deadly terrorist attack on U.S. compounds in Benghazi, Libya took place in 2012. The Clinton emails newly identified as possibly related to the incident are among the thousands recovered in the course of FBI's recently closed investigation into Clinton's use of a private server.
In 2009, when she was Secretary of State under Obama, Clinton made a decision to use a private server that was physically hosted in the basement of her and Bill's New York home, instead of her U.S. government email account.
The Benghazi attack became the focus of conspiracy theories involving Clinton as she became Democratic presidential nominee. Her opponent, GOP candidate Donald Trump, has made very effective political hay from both the private email server thing, and from the wacky internet theories that she "did Benghazi," whatever that truly means in the minds of crazed right-wing internet hordes.
The FBI says it will release in the coming days the report sent by the Bureau to the Justice Department in July. The FBI's report recommended no charges in the Clinton email server investigation. The release is in response to a number of FOIA requests from various U.S. news organizations.
In a separate development, Judicial Watch has won the right to ask Clinton a number of questions about her now-retired private email server, which bypassed Freedom of Information laws intended to keep politicians accountable and visible to the people who elect them.
Government lawyers told U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta Tuesday that an undetermined number of the emails among the 30 were not included in the 55,000 pages previously provided by Clinton. The State Department's lawyer said it would need until the end of September to review the emails and redact potentially classified information before they are released.
Mehta questioned why it would take so long to release so few documents, and urged that the process be sped up. He ordered the department to report to him in a week with more details about why the review process would take a full month.
The hearing was held in one of several lawsuits filed by the conservative legal group Judicial Watch, which has sued over access to government records involving the Democratic presidential nominee. The State Department has said the FBI provided it with about 14,900 emails purported not to have been among those previously released.
Clinton previously had said she withheld and deleted only personal emails not related to her duties as secretary of state. With the November election little more than two months away, Republicans are pressing for the release of as many documents related to Clinton as possible.
And again from AP, here's the other Clinton email story of the day, about Judicial Watch submitting 25 questions for Clinton about the email server debacle.
Clinton was ordered earlier this month by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to answer the group's questions under oath. The judge's order was only a partial victory for the group, which had sought to depose Clinton in person.
It was not immediately clear from the wording of Sullivan's order whether Clinton must answer the questions before or after the November election. Judicial Watch contends the deadline is Sept. 29.