FBI To Release Thousands More Documents In Clinton Email Probe
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
There are two new developments related to Hillary Clinton's emails while she was secretary of state. The first has to do with a judge ordering a review of an additional 15,000 emails for potential release. The other development involves a release of emails from an organization that has focused on Clinton for years. NPR's Tamara Keith is in the studio to talk to us about these things. Hello, Tam.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Hi.
SIEGEL: Let's start with the first thing I mentioned. The State Department has already released 30,000 work-related emails from Clinton's time as secretary. Now a federal judge says an additional 15,000 emails also have to be released. What are these additional messages about?
KEITH: So you might remember when FBI Director James Comey came out in July and said that Clinton was extremely careless in setting up a private server for official business. At that time, he also said investigators found thousands of emails that had been lost or deleted. These are those emails. Comey at the time said there was no reason to believe that these emails were maliciously deleted. The conservative activist group Judicial Watch sued to get those messages released through the Freedom of Information Act, and now a federal judge has ruled that they should be released.
Reviewing the emails is going to take the State Department a while, and the soonest they are likely to begin to be released is October. Hillary Clinton was asked about this latest development last night by Jimmy Kimmel.
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JIMMY KIMMEL: Are you concerned about that?
HILLARY CLINTON: No. I mean they...
KIMMEL: Because I would be terrified if...
CLINTON: No, no.
KIMMEL: ...If my emails were released.
CLINTON: But Jimmy, my emails are so boring.
KIMMEL: Yeah. Mine are...
CLINTON: And I mean I'm embarrassed about that. They're so boring.
KIMMEL: Yeah (laughter).
CLINTON: And so we've already released - I don't know - 30,000-plus, so what's a few more?
KEITH: She says it's a few more. It's actually, like, 50 percent more.
SIEGEL: Now, Tam, the other email story comes in a release from Judicial Watch, and it involves the Clinton Foundation. What's the story there?
KEITH: Judicial Watch has been filing Freedom of Information Act requests, looking for something nefarious in the records from Clinton's time at the State Department. And this is their latest release. It includes a bunch of email chains mostly involving a top aide - a former top aide to Bill Clinton at the Clinton Foundation, Doug Band, emailing a top aide to Hillary Clinton at the State Department - that's Huma Abedin, who is still a close aide - asking for either access or a favor depending on the message.
In one case, Band was trying to get time for the crown prince of Bahrain to meet with Clinton. Abedin's response was that the meeting was already in process through official channels. Now, the crown prince of Bahrain was a foundation donor, and that meeting happened.
Another one had a big foundation donor asking for help with a visa for a soccer star with legal troubles. That help was not provided. But there are a number of cases of major donors to the foundation seeking meetings with Clinton, though it's not clear they got anything from those meetings aside from actually meeting.
SIEGEL: So how would you describe the political fallout from all this?
KEITH: You know, up until this point, most of the focus has been on Clinton's handling of sensitive information on her email server. These new emails are putting more focus on the Clinton Foundation and questions about transparency and how she operated as secretary of state, and that gives an opening to Donald Trump, who said the following last night in Akron, Ohio.
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DONALD TRUMP: The amounts involved, the favors done and the significant number of times it was done require an expedited investigation by a special prosecutor immediately, immediately, immediately.
KEITH: Now, for the campaign's part, Clinton campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin says Judicial Watch has been mischaracterizing the documents and, quote, "the fact remains that Hillary Clinton never took action as secretary of state because of donations to the Clinton Foundation."
SIEGEL: That's NPR's Tamara Keith covering the Clinton campaign. Tam, thanks.
KEITH: You're welcome.
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