On Thursday, the Republican National Committee (RNC) asked the State Department to turn over FOIA-related documents from Hillary Clinton’s era that could reveal whether Clinton’s allies blocked the release of documents and emails that were requested through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
According to a McClatchy report, the RNC sent a letter to the State Department asking for “all records, including memos and correspondence, that mention, reference or relate to FOIAs, including the requests themselves that were sent to or from 41 employees, including Clinton and many of her top aides, including chief of staff, Cheryl Mills.”
On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mills blocked various records that were requested through the Freedom of Information Act, including those related to the Keystone XL pipeline and Bill Clinton’s speaking engagements.
Hillary Clinton has come under fire for using private email accounts, which reportedly contained sensitive information, while she was secretary of state. She deleted more than 30,000 emails that she alone determined were “private” and not “work-related” and turned over 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department. Clinton’s team reportedly gave the State Department 12 banker’s boxes worth of email printouts, some of which were double-sided, and the agency reportedly has 12 full-time staffers reviewing Clinton’s emails.
On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered the State Department to release Hillary Clinton’s emails on a rolling basis.
The State Department had initially proposed releasing Clinton’s emails on January 15, 2015, which is just two weeks before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.
According to Politico, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras ordered the State Department to “propose a new schedule by next Tuesday that involves disclosing the records batch-by-batch on a regular basis and updating the court every 60 days on the releases.”
In addition, Judge Contreras also gave the State Department “one week to say exactly when it plans to release a portion of the records relating to the deadly attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, as well as other Libya-related issues.” The agency said that it would release those batch of emails “soon” but never offered a specific date.
The State Department denied that it was “slow-rolling” the release of the emails to help Clinton’s candidacy.
“We have a large volume of records that cover the entire span of Secretary Clinton’s time at the department. I’m sure you could imagine this would cover pretty much any topic. It could cover any topic on our foreign policy agenda,” a State Department spokesperson reportedly said on Tuesday.
Clinton claimed that emails are now the State Department’s and said she wanted the agency to release them as soon as possible.
“Anything that they might do to expedite that process I heartily support,” she said Tuesday in Iowa. “I want the American people to learn as much as they can about the work I did with our diplomats and our development experts.”