Portions of 55,000 pages of emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be released by mid-January, the State Department proposed Monday night in a federal court filing. Clinton’s use of personal email to conduct official business as secretary of state came to light in March prompting concerns about transparency and security in the Obama administration.
The proposal reportedly came in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Vice News in January. The department urged the court to set a deadline of Jan. 15, 2016, to factor in the holidays, and said that the emails will be released after they are reviewed, which could take until the end of this year.
“The Department understands the considerable public’s [sic] interest in these records and is endeavoring to complete the review and production of them as expeditiously as possible,” John F. Hackett, who is responsible for the department's responses to FOIA requests, said. “The collection is, however, voluminous and, due to the breadth of topics, the nature of the communications, and the interests of several agencies, presents several challenges.”
Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2016 presidential election, turned over about half of the 55,000 messages that she said are relevant to the public interest in March, but has said that she will not allow a third-party inspection of the server located in her New York house, as it also holds private emails that had nothing to do with her official duties.
Republicans have accused Clinton of trying to be deceitful by using personal email for work purposes.
Hackett said in the court filing that the State Department had received the 55,000 pages of emails from Clinton in paper form. The department plans to review about 1,000 emails a week, the New York Times reported.
“Currently, this project is staffed full time by a project manager and two case analysts, as well as nine FOIA reviewers who devote the entirety of their time at the State Department to this effort, plus other analysts and information technology specialists who provide collateral assistance to this review in addition to their regular duties,” the filing stated. “The team managing this project has met daily since early April to implement and oversee this large undertaking.”