Did the dog eat their homework? The State Department said that they just plum forgot to send 7,000 of the 55,000 pages from Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server to twelve other agencies to review whether the material can be released, or whether more of it is classified. And thanks to the snowstorm last week, they can’t possibly get any more released until, oh, after a bunch of people have to vote for the next Democratic presidential nominee:
The State Department on Friday will release roughly 2,000 pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails on Friday — but will delay the final batch of messages until after voters go to the poll in early primary states.
In a court filing late on Thursday evening, the department insisted that it “regrets” its inability to publish the final 7,000 pages on Friday, as a federal court ordered it to do last year. …
According to the department, it simply “missed” sending roughly 7,000 pages of emails to other agencies, and did not notice the oversight until earlier this month. Its efforts to correct the problem were further delayed by the snowstorm, which closed the federal government through Wednesday.
The department has not even sent out documents to 12 agencies to review, it said.
A court this week heard an argument from State for delaying the release until the end of February as it initially requested. That would have taken the release all the way past four primary voting events, not just Iowa and New Hampshire. Vice News, whose FOIA lawsuit is one of the actions driving the disclosures, filed an objection over the attempt to stall, calling State’s argument “woefully vague.” Republicans accused the State Department of attempting to manipulate the release for the benefit of Hillary and her campaign in the critical early states.
At the very least, it’s curious. The State Department has had all of these pages for about a year. Why parse them out in dribs and drabs to the agencies whose intel might have been exposed? Why not have them all available for inspection immediately in a SCIF, so that these agencies could start minimizing the spillage that has already been demonstrated in the myriad redactions and classifications seen in the produced documents? As Inspector General Charles McCullough’s most recent report makes very clear, the exposure of highly classified material on this unauthorized and unsecured e-mail server could put human lives at risk. It makes no sense to parse this out a few thousand pages at a time while that risk remains.
This “dog ate our homework” excuse is just that — an excuse. The process of releasing documents to the public is necessarily sequential, but the intel agencies should have been checking the entire 55,000-page trove months ago. Perhaps the State Department Inspector General should open a new investigation into Foggy Bottom’s handling of this scandal, too.
Guy Benson has a question for Bernie Sanders:
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) January 29, 2016