State Department halts its Clinton email investigation, defers to FBI

“We do not want our internal review to complicate or impede [the FBI probe],” spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said. “We are prioritizing the law enforcement investigation.”

In January the department revealed that during its review of Clinton’s 52,000 pages of private email it had come across 22 documents that had to be upgraded to “Top Secret” and totally withheld from public release. It said at the time that it would conduct a separate internal review to determine if the secret information in those emails had been mishandled at the time the emails were sent.

Today the State Department said it is deferring that judgment to the FBI, which is conducting a more comprehensive security review of Clinton’s email. The outcome of that investigation is highly anticipated amid the 2016 election cycle. Clinton has said she is confident that will not happen and that she did not break any laws with her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.