Government Law

Judge wants to know why State Department missed the deadline for release of final Clinton emails

Department of State

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ordered the federal government to explain in writing why it missed a Jan. 29 deadline to release the final batch of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras said on Tuesday that the State Department is taking an “unreasonably long period of time” to process the remaining emails, report the National Law Journal (sub. req.), the Hill, Politico and Courthouse News Service. “To state the obvious, these documents have a lot of public interest, and the timing is important,” Contreras said.

The State Department says the delay stems from an oversight that caused it to overlook 3,700 emails—amounting to more than 7,000 pages—that must be reviewed by multiple agencies. Contreras said he wanted a detailed report on “how this problem arose, what caused it and why it wasn’t noticed until just recently,” according to Politico’s coverage.

“The government has put me between a rock and a hard place, … which is a position I don’t like to be in,” Contreras said.

The State Department has been posting emails from Clinton’s private server to its website in batches since last May, the Hill explains. Government lawyers propose releasing the final emails on Feb. 18 and Feb. 29.

The emails are being released as a result of a Freedom of Information suit by Vice News reporter Jason Leopold. His lawyers have suggested the final emails are the most controversial because they require review by multiple agencies, according to the Hill.

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