The State Department will release 55,000 pages of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails just two weeks before the Iowa Democratic caucus, internal documents reveal.
The documents, obtained by Vice News through a Freedom of Information Act request, show that State’s lead FOIA officer expects the emails to be released on Jan. 15.
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The timing of the release could be an albatross for Clinton. She will vie for the Democratic nomination in the Feb. 1 Iowa caucus, and the New Hampshire Democratic primary a week later.
Last March, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said a review of Clinton's emails would "take months." But in a 13-page declaration filed in US District Court in Washington, DC Monday night, John Hackett, the State Department's FOIA chief, said the "intensive," time consuming task of reviewing the electronic communications will not be completed until the end of the year.
"The collection is … voluminous and, due to the breadth of topics, the nature of the communications, and the interests of several agencies, presents several challenges," Hackett said. He noted that the emails would will be publicly released next January on a State Department website devoted exclusively to the emails, absent any "unanticipated circumstances, or circumstances" beyond the State Department's control."
The declaration includes previously undisclosed details about the State Department's work on the Clinton emails. Hackett said the emails were turned over to the State Department by Clinton in "paper form in twelve bankers' boxes" last December.