First batch of Hillary Clinton's Benghazi e-mails released

The State Department is expected to release the first batch of Hillary Clinton's e-mails over the next few days. Meanwhile, The New York Times has obtained almost a third of the pages. 

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP/File
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaking at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the America Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Washington, on March 23, 2015.

The first batch of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails is about to see the light of day.  

On Tuesday, a federal judge rejected the State Department’s proposal to wait until January 2016 to release the more than 55,000 e-mails Mrs. Clinton wrote during her stint as secretary of State, and instead ordered that a “rolling” release of the documents be made every two months. Now, the State Department is expected to release the first batch of emails over the next few days, The New York Times reported.

Around 850 pages of e-mails that relate to Libya and the 2012 attacks on the United States outposts in Benghazi have been given to a special House committee appointed to investigate the attacks. The attacks killed four people, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Meanwhile, the Times has obtained almost a third of the pages set to be released, saying the e-mails contain "sensitive" material, but no classified government information.

“The emails appear to back up Mrs. Clinton’s previous assertions that she did not receive classified information at her private email address,” wrote reporter Michael Schmidt for the Times. “But some of the emails contain what the government calls ‘sensitive’ information or ‘SBU’’ — sensitive but unclassified. This includes details of the whereabouts of State Department officials in Libya when security there was deteriorating during the 2011 revolution.”

This spring, a controversy erupted after it was revealed that Clinton relied exclusively on a personal e-mail account and private "homebrew" server to conduct government business during her term as secretary of State from 2009 until 2013.

In January 2014, a Senate report revealed that the government failed to deliver the “standard of care” needed to protect its staff in Benghazi. The report faulted the State Department, then under Clinton, for failing to respond to intelligence reports that warned of possible security threats prior to the attack. A Republican-led House committee, meanwhile, cleared the CIA and military of wrongdoing.

Now, Republicans and concerned citizens say they hope the e-mails stored on Clinton’s server will provide a greater understanding of what the government knew prior to the attack in Benghazi.   

The e-mails revealed that Clinton relied on Sidney Blumenthal, a senior campaign adviser who was not employed at State, regarding Libya, with Mr. Blumenthal reportedly sending at least two dozen memos on the situation.

“Mrs. Clinton forwarded most of them to Jake Sullivan, her trusted foreign policy adviser," Mr. Schmidt reported. "Mr. Sullivan would then send the memos along to other senior State Department officials, asking for their feedback. There is no evidence those officials were told that the memos were from Mr. Blumenthal.”

Clinton said on Tuesday during a campaign stop that she supported the swift release of her e-mails.

“I want those e-mails out. Nobody has a bigger interest in getting them released than I do,” Clinton told reporters in Iowa. “I want the American people to learn as much as we can about the work that I did.”

To read the 349 pages obtained by the New York Times, click here.

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