WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department said it would release about 3,000 pages of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton’s correspondence from 2009, her first year as the nation’s top diplomat, on Tuesday night.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said the emails, covering March through December 2009, would be posted online.
“There’s been nothing but nearly nonstop work on this” since the last group of emails was released, Kirby told reporters at a State Department briefing in which he acknowledged the inconvenient timing. “You have to understand the enormity of the task here. It is a lot of stuff to go through.”
The release comes as part of a court mandate that the agency release batches of Clinton’s email correspondence from her time as secretary of state every 30 days starting June 30. The goal is for the department to publicly unveil 55,000 pages of her emails by Jan. 29, 2016. They were sent from the personal email address Clinton used when she was secretary.
Clinton has said she wants the department to release the emails as soon as possible. The disclosure that she conducted State Department business on a private email account has been a controversy for her campaign.
Separately the department on Tuesday provided more than 3,600 pages of documents to the Republican-led House committee investigating the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, including emails of Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at the time, and former Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Jake Sullivan.
In a letter to the committee, the department said “to the extent the materials produced relate to your inquiry, we do not believe they change the fundamental facts of the attacks on Benghazi.”
Four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in the assaults on the diplomatic facility in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012. Several investigations have faulted security at the facility, but found that the CIA and military acted properly in responding. One Republican-led House probe asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration officials in its report last year.
The House committee will hold a public business meeting next week to vote on whether to release the transcript of longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal’s deposition. Blumenthal testified behind closed doors for more than eight hours earlier this month, and Democrats have been pressing the panel to release the full transcript.
The committee, led by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., had released Blumenthal’s emails with Clinton.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.