The Federal Bureau of Investigation has uncovered nearly 15,000 emails sent directly to or from Hillary Clinton while she served as secretary of state, according to lawyers for the State Department. The emails and documents were disclosed by the FBI as part of its ongoing investigation into Clinton’s private server when she was America’s top diplomat between 2009 and 2013. The number is a major addition to the roughly 30,000 emails that Democratic presidential nominee’s lawyers deemed work-related and turned over to the State Department in December 2014.
The department lawyers told US District Court Judge James E. Boasberg on Monday that the emails were currently being reviewed and that the first batch of them would be released in mid-October.The announcement raised the prospect that the emails could become public just before November’s presidential election. Boasberg said he wanted the State Department to release the emails sooner, ordering it to report to him on its progress in processing the emails by Sept. 22.
Boasberg is supervising the case as part of a federal public-records lawsuit lodged by the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus have called for the early release of the emails. “FBI found almost 15,000 new Clinton documents. When will State release them?” Fitton tweeted Monday morning.
Preibus said that “the process for reviewing these emails needs to be expedited, public disclosure should begin before early voting starts and the emails in question should be released in full before Election Day.” Clinton has come under fire for using a private email account and server at her home in New York for official emails when during her tenure as secretary of state.
Critics, including Republican presidential election rival Donald Trump, say she endangered government secrets and evaded transparency laws. The State Department has already released more than 52,000 pages of Clinton’s work-related emails, including some that have since been classified.