The FBI has recovered personal and work emails that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said had been deleted from her private server, according to a person familiar with the investigation, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
The FBI’s success at "salvaging personal e-mails that Clinton said had been deleted raises the possibility that the candidate’s correspondence eventually could become public," a Bloomberg political writer said. Two unnamed government officials speaking to the New York Times confirmed that the emails had been recovered.
During her four-year tenure as secretary of state, Clinton exchanged roughly 60,000 emails. Clinton and her aides have said about half of those emails were personal and primarily dealt with yoga routines, her daughter Chelsea Clinton’s wedding and condolence messages. Those personal messages were reportedly deleted from her private server, Bloomberg said.
When the previously deleted emails have been extracted, FBI agents will separate out personal messages and hand over work-related messages to agents leading the investigation, a source familiar with the probe reportedly told Bloomberg.
Outside computer specialists said the FBI has the "technical capability" to recover deleted emails, according to the Bloomberg report. The exact number of Clinton emails that were recovered is not yet known.
Clinton's staff turned over paper copies of work-related emails on her private server to the State Department, which later released nearly 8,000 of those emails on its website.
— Craig Gordon (@dcraiggordon) September 22, 2015
A federal judge Tuesday ordered that the State Department speed up its review of emails from two key aides to Clinton, the Associated Press reported. There are currently about 30 lawsuits involving Clinton's emails, with organizations suing the State Department over timely access to emails sent during Clinton's time as secretary of state.
Clinton has experienced harsh backlash over the use of her personal server and private email account to conduct government business, and her popularity in the polls has plummeted as a result. She is now supported by 42 percent of Democrats, which is a significant decline from the 63 percent support she had in July, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. In mid-September, Clinton was criticized for laughing when asked about the possibility that anyone would have hacked into U.S. national security secrets that she kept stored on her personal email account and home email server.
“Once again Hillary Clinton laughed off questions about her secret email server, even though it put our national security at risk and is being investigated by the FBI,” Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short said in a statement, the Washington Times reported. “With her campaign under siege, it’s no wonder she's refusing to join the growing chorus of Democrats calling for more debates.”
Congressional committees are also investigating Clinton's use of her private server and email account during her tenure as secretary of state.