WASHINGTON, June 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department on Tuesday released some 3,000 emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server.
The correspondence -- about 3,000 pages worth -- was the second batch of emails the department made publicly available online.
The emails are dated from March 2009 to December 2009. Most say little about her tenure, but do point out that aides, including President Barack Obama's senior adviser David Axelrod and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, knew about her private email address. Earlier this month, Axelrod told MSNBC he was unaware of Clinton's use of private email.
Among the emails was correspondence from controversial aide Sidney Blumenthal, who was apparently sending Clinton advice on diplomatic matters even as the White House was allegedly blocking him from becoming part of Clinton's staff. Blumenthal, a senior adviser to President Bill Clinton between 1997 and 2001, sent Clinton emails on issues from British politics to issues in Iran and Afghanistan.
In addition, the cache of emails showed the more mundane side of Clinton's life, like her penchant for apples, her troubles using a fax machine and scheduling problems.
State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters Tuesday he knew there would be assumptions about the late release of the emails -- at 9 p.m.
"This is really a function of physics for us. We have a lot of emails to get through. ... That's what's driving the time," he said during the department's daily news briefing. "The 9 o'clock release date is not deliberately intended to make your life harder. ... I recognize that it's inconvenient for you in the media. I can assure you this is not an attempt or an effort to be less than forthcoming or to try and steer away from news coverage of this."
In May, the State Department said it would gradually release 55,000 pages of emails stored on Clinton's private server with a deadline for completion in January 2016.
The department made the proposal in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Vice News that sought copies of all of Clinton's emails. The department noted that readying the documents for public release would be a labor-intensive and time-consuming venture.
Noting the public interest in the case, John F. Hackett, acting director of the Office of Information Programs and Services at the State Department, said the department is working to complete the review of the emails as quickly as possible.
"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," he said.
Hackett said 12 State Department staffers have been assigned to review Clinton's emails. He said the emails will be redacted at a pace of about 1,000 a week and sent to legal advisers for a final review.
The emails are scheduled to be released in batches every 60 days.
The first batch of emails, released May 22, mostly addressed the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four people, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.