Posted: 1:38 pm Friday, May 22nd, 2015
By Jamie Dupree
Three days after a judge rejected the idea of releasing all of Hillary Clinton’s emails early next year, the State Department released the first batch of electronic mail from her time as Secretary of State, as the Obama Administration downplayed the idea that it sheds any new light on the Benghazi attacks of 2012.
The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during, or after the attacks.
— Department of State (@StateDept) May 22, 2015
The 296 emails were previously released to the Congress, something the White House readily noted.
“They do not change in any way anyone’s understanding about the events of that tragic evening,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
On the campaign trail in New Hampshire, Clinton said she was pleased some of her emails are now public.
“I want people to be able to see all of them,” she told reporters after a campaign event in the Granite State.
But in truth, the emails were not easy to review, as the State Department’s website was quickly overwhelmed by internet visitors – and many had sections that were considered classified and not made public.
Among the documents, emails from Secretary of State Clinton to her staff:
What Clinton asked to be printed were the infamous “talking points” (TPs) which were provided by the Obama Administration to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) – you will note that those talking points have been redacted.
Some of the emails are from staff to Clinton – like this one on a preliminary report of arrests in Libya.
Many of the emails included so much in the way of redactions that it provided useful material at all.
While Republicans were pleased to see this batch of emails, they again pressed the State Department to release even more documents related to the Benghazi attacks.
“It is also important to remember these email messages are just one piece of information that cannot be completely evaluated or fully understood without the total record,” said a statement issued by the Benghazi panel’s Republicans.
One member of that panel told these emails have “very little in there,” echoing a call for more information from the State Department.
“We won’t know anything in my opinion until we get all the 7th floor emails,” this lawmaker said, referring to the location of top officials at the State Department.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.