Five days before the election, the State Department released another 1,280 additional pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails.
In response to a lawsuit, the State Department on Thursday released 357 documents sent or received by Clinton when she was secretary of state. More emails will be released Friday.
The emails were turned over by the FBI, which collected them during its former investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information by Clinton and her aides. Many of those released include near duplicates to those already released.
That means the classified number remains what it was in February, when the department released what it considered the final batch of emails: At least 2,079 emails that Clinton sent or received contained classified material.
None of Clinton’s emails was marked as classified during her tenure, State Department officials say, but intelligence officials say some material was clearly classified at the time. Her aides also sent and received classified information.
One email that stood out Thursday was sent by Clinton to her trusted aide Huma Abedin on Aug. 2, 2010, asking Abedin if “one of Anthony’s trusted staff could deliver a secure phone?” It appears to refer to then-Rep. Anthony Weiner, Abedin’s now-estranged husband, about 10 months before he resigned amid a sexting scandal. Abedin responds that she is working on sending to Clinton by Federal Express a secure cell phone.
The State Department designated 22 of previously reviewed emails “top secret” or a level that can cause “exceptionally grave” damage to national security if disclosed. The 22 emails were not released to the public. Clinton’s campaign has rebutted the “top secret” designation and demanded that all of Clinton’s emails be released to the public.
None of the newly released emails contained classified information. Many were marked confidential, and most dealt with housekeeping matters and schedule conflicts. One even featured a not-very-exciting request from Abedin to bring her hot tea.
But a number dealt with thorny issues and one was especially ironic. It was a Dec. 2, 2010, email from Abedin to her boss passing along suggested language about Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, who just weeks earlier had published a quarter of a million State Department cables.
“We view this not as a ‘clever game’ of wiki leaks but rather as a ‘criminal act’ against the United States of America,” read the suggested language for a statement. “He might think this is a clever game today-but when he is prosecuted and if convicted-he will move from being a clever-cyber thief to a convicted criminal--and will find out that's a whole different kind of game.”
Assange remains holed up in Ecuadoran Embassy in London, where he’s been for four years to avoid extradition. At the request of U.S. authorities, Ecuador recently cut off his internet access. His anti-secrecy group has played a major role in the 2016 election campaign, releasing hacked private emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta. The Clinton team accuses Russia of orchestrating the hacks to support Trump.
In another, Clinton’s daughter Chelsea writes on Jan. 22, 2012, asking for help in resolving a friend’s “visa conundrum.” The request gets passed along the chain of command, where Abedin is copied along with Clinton’s then chief-of-staff, Cheryl Mills, who passes it along to her aide Nora Toiv. The email thread ends with Toiv advising that the embassy in London, given the “misunderstanding,” would give the unidentified male friend a second hearing.
“I’ll be in touch to with (sic) to make sure his appointment is timely,” Toiv writes, appearing to refer to the consular affairs section of the U.S. Embassy in London.
Matthew Schofield in Washington contributed.