US government lawyers revealed on Monday that intelligence officials have flagged 305 documents from Hillary Clinton's private emails for review.
"Out of a sample of approximately 20 percent of the Clinton emails, the… reviewers have only recommended 305 documents — approximately 5.1 percent — for referral to their agencies for consultation,'' Justice Department lawyer Robert Prince wrote in court documents, explaining the slow pace of the email disclosures.
Clinton's emails from her time as Secretary of State are being released in chunks in response to a Freedom of Information Request Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by VICE News senior investigative reporter Jason Leopold. In May, a federal judge ordered the government to release 15 percent of the 35,000 emails each month — but John Hackett, the State Department's top FOIA official, admitted that they are 1,721 pages behind schedule.
Last week, VICE News's FOIA attorney Ryan James asked Judge Rudolph Contreras to compel the government to explain the slow pace.
In an August 7 report on the status of the disclosures, the State Department admitted it had fallen behind because the documents needed to be screened by intelligence officials for classified information.
The intelligence screeners were added in July, and the State Department promised that disclosures would be more timely once the process for reviewing emails is streamlined.
"It is important to recognize… that the… reviewers had only eight business days, until July 24, to screen documents for the July 31 release," Prince explained in the court documents. He said the government would be back on schedule by the end of September.
Clinton, meanwhile, is insisting that she never used her private email server to transmit information that had been marked "classified." She called the controversy surrounding her private email account, which was hosted by a private server at her home in Chappaqua, New York, "a very confusing issue," and said she believes it is "all just going to work itself out as we go forward."
"I did what other secretaries of state have done," Clinton told Iowa Public Radio. "I was permitted to and used a personal email and, obviously in retrospect, given all the concerns that have been raised, it would have been probably smarter not to. But I never sent nor received any classified email, nothing marked 'Classified.' And I think this will all sort itself out."
So far, around 70 of the emails released to the public have been redacted to shield classified information.
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