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State Department releases last batch of Clinton emails

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   March 1, 2016 at 7:02 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 1 (UPI) -- The Department of State released the remaining work-related emails of Hillary Clinton from a private server she used during her time as secretary of state.

The released batch included 261 emails with information considered classified. Since the State Department began releasing the Clinton emails in May, at least 2,079 have had some form of classification -- whether "confidential" or "secret."

The State Department's Freedom of Information Act office reviewed more than 52,000 pages of Clinton's emails she sent during her tenure as state secretary from 2009 to 2013.

John Podesta, the chairman of Clinton's presidential campaign, criticized the State Department Office of Inspector General by stating there were "serious questions" about the agency's integrity.

Podesta made the remarks after a source within the OIG told The Hill the office has grown increasingly partison over an apparent "anti-Clinton" bias -- an accusation rejected by the office.

"This person's account is highly troubling, and is cause to ask serious questions about the independence of this office," Podesta said of the source.

The Clinton campaign said it does not know the source's identity.

Last Tuesday, a U.S. district court judge granted a motion for discovery meaning State Department officials and top aides to Clinton should be questioned under oath regarding her use of private email server.

The decision to use private servers may have violated Freedom of Information Act laws demanding all work emails be archived in government systems for public view. Sullivan's ruling will perpetuate attention to a scandal the Democratic presidential front-runner would prefer to leave behind.

The judge's ruling came as the result of a lawsuit filed by the conservative legal watchdog organization Judicial Watch. The process will likely involve interviews with Clinton's top staff in which they will be asked how they determined which emails were preserved as an official record and which were discarded.

Sullivan set an April 12 deadline for Judicial Watch and the government lawyers to propose a plan to proceed. The process will likely take months and is expected to be a factor in the 2016 presidential election campaign. Clinton could be subpoenaed to testify, Sullivan said.

Ed Adamczyk contributed to this report.

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