WASHINGTON — The State Department released its latest batch of emails from the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server Thursday, with just five days until the election.
The 1,280 pages of emails that were produced under court order include mostly administrative correspondence and duplicates of previously released material. But the batch also includes new correspondence from Clinton’s 2010 clean-up tour amid the stunning WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables.
A series of largely redacted emails from 2010 include Clinton’s discussions of how she will approach world leaders, as well as how hard she should go after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The newest emails from Clinton were released by the State Department while Assange continued his extended bombardment of the Clinton campaign with regular releases from campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails.
In a Dec. 2, 2010, top aide Huma Abedin wrote to Clinton that an ally had suggested Clinton say, “We view this not as a ‘clever game’ of wiki leaks but rather as a ‘criminal act’ against the United States of America. He might think this is a clever game today but when he is prosecuted and if convicted he will move from being a clever cyber thief to a convicted criminal — and will find out that’s a whole different kind of game.”
Assange has been in asylum at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for four years, and has blamed Clinton in part for his seeking asylum. Democrats have accused Assange and the Donald Trump campaign of coordinating the release of the Podesta emails with Russia, but Assange told Russia Today that the Russian government was not the source of the emails.
WikiLeaks’ release of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables in 2010 — with stark and cutting assessments of foreign leaders — created a massive problem for Clinton as she played clean-up in her role as secretary of state. Emails released by the State Department Thursday detail some of the behind-the-scenes scramble inside her office.
A Nov. 26, 2010 email about her planned call with French Foreign Minister Michele Aliot-Marie is largely redacted, but includes some background, including bracing for “the first of several articles” that Le Monde was set to publish from the WikiLeaks cables.
A Nov. 27, 2010 from Huma Abedin to Clinton shows them bracing for the impact from the New York Times’ publication of WikiLeaks material dealing with the U.S. relationship with Canada.
“Two cables set for release contain especially sensitive information on counterterrorism and intelligence sharing. The depth of bilateral cooperation detailed in the cables may be controversial for Canadians,” Abedin wrote in the email.
The latest release follows a compromise agreement reached this September in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The agreement paved the way for at least 2,900 pages of Clinton’s emails to be reviewed ahead of November 8.
None of the new emails contained information marked as classified or newly upgraded to classified, but 18 were near duplicates that included a previously-released email that had been upgraded when originally released.
The State Department was initially tasked with processing 1,050 pages out of about 5,600 work-related emails before the election as part of an order in a separate FOIA lawsuit. But attorneys for the State Department and VICE News reporter Jason Leopold agreed to an accelerated release before the election.
After an initial review of the documents turned over by the FBI, the State Department concluded a “significant number” of the 5,600 work-related emails were duplicates or near-duplicates of emails already released to the public, and therefore will not be subject to re-release.
Clinton turned over approximately 55,000 pages of her emails in early 2015. Those were processed and produced to the public, with redactions, between May 2015 and March 2016.
An additional 350 pages are scheduled to be released Friday.