The legal battle over emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took another turn on Friday, as the State Department released emails which had been sent and received by top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, as the messages had been found on a laptop she shared with her husband, ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY).
The emails were made public in litigation pursued by the conservative watchdog group “Judicial Watch,” which has filed a series of lawsuits against the State Department over the Clinton emails, as the group has echoed GOP calls for a broader investigation of the Clinton email saga.
“This is a major victory,” Judicial Watch declared. “The fact that classified information has been found from Clinton and Abedin on Weiner’s laptop shows the urgent need for a criminal investigation by the Justice Department.”
But in the documents posted by Judicial Watch, there were no specific classified documents or materials which were forwarded or sent by Abedin and Clinton – but there are items and details which were later declared as classified by the State Department, or flagged by State Department officials as material which should not be made public for a number of years.
Most of the redacted material involves policy making details with regards to other countries, names of certain people in emails, along with private email addresses and phone numbers.
“NEW CLINTON EMAILS ON WEINER LAPTOP!” a headline bellowed on the Judicial Watch website.
Maybe the most intriguing email is an April 2012 email exchange “Re: Libya,” in which Abedin tells Clinton, “Not sure S/P is aware of our covert project so timeline wouldn’t have come from our team.”
It wasn’t immediately clear what Abedin was referring to; this is 6 months before the Benghazi attacks, which killed the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.
The email wasn’t held back by the State Department – as it was stamped, “RELEASE IN FULL.”
A number of the emails appear to have been previously released by the State Department in the production of emails sent to and from Secretary Clinton, via her now infamous private email server, while she was at the State Department.
The emails found on Weiner’s laptop include endless amounts of mundane details about Clinton’s schedule, phone calls with foreign government leaders, and efforts by supporters to contact her.
Most of the emails were sent by Abedin to what is slugged, “BBB Backup,” from her email@example.com address. She was married to Weiner at the time. He had resigned from Congress in June of 2011 after a sexting scandal.
The emails include:
+ Talking points for a March 2011 call between Clinton and the South African foreign minister, dealing with Haiti.
+ Discussion points for a call between Clinton and the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, doing damage control about the release of internal State Department documents by Wikileaks in 2010.
+ An interview request by ABC News in March of 2011. Clinton is told, “we think it’s a good opportunity.” Clinton wants to know what time the interview will be, because she is having breakfast with Vice President Biden that day.
+ An email conversation among staff about a request for Clinton to speak at a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative – which no one seems to know anything about.
+ July 2012 talking points for discussions with the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
+ An July 2012 email forwarded to Abedin by Clinton, in which the Secretary calls Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) a “‘hero’ for so many reasons.”
+ An email to Clinton staffers in hopes of getting a group from east Africa a photograph with Clinton during a Washington stop. The visit was coordinated by the Acumen Foundation, which has ties to the Clinton Foundation, as shown in this link on the Foundation’s website.
+ An email schedule covering a day of Clinton’s travels.
+ An email from Jamie Rubin, a former State Department spokesman under President Bill Cilnton, suggesting that Secretary Clinton sit down for an informal chat with “some influential New York City writers and opinionators.”
+ An October 2012 email talking about the guest list for a holiday party that Mrs. Clinton would host at her Washington, D.C. home.
+ A February 2013 schedule for Secretary Clinton, which has the details of one meeting redacted. Many of the emails in this release are about Clinton’s schedule, and when she can have certain meetings, and at what times.
+ An August 2011 email where Clinton wants to get an address for Lady Gaga, so she can send her a note, after the singer verbally rebuked fashion czar Tim Gunn, over his less than charitable reviews of Clinton’s style of dress.
+ A July 2011 call sheet for a talk with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The entire purpose of the call was redacted in this release.
+ A number of emails seemed to be efforts by Abedin to simply jog her memory later on; “Reminder to call Mullen,” is one subject title.
+ Several emails show frustration and aggravation by Clinton aides over how people email Clinton directly to ask her to speak or participate in certain events. “Love when people send her schedule stuff direct,” Abedin wrote in December 2011. “Cannot believe she emailed HRC directly,” Abedin writes in another in June 2012.
+ A late December 2011 email from Abedin to Clinton in which it’s obvious that not everything can be discussed over email. “Sending a pouch to you tomorrow,” Abedin wrote. “Nothing action related but some classified info paper for you to read.”
+ An April 2011 email in which Abedin tells Clinton that Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) had called, and that the Florida Democrat had been selected as the new head of the Democratic National Committee. “Is she leaving the Congress?” Clinton asks.
+ A May 2011 email exchange about a painting given to the Secretary as a gift. “I don’t think she can keep this,” Abedin wrote. “I suspect its worth more than $250.”
+ Other redactions came in a May 4, 2012 email, when Clinton in Beijing for talks with Chinese officials.
+ A November 2011 email to Clinton about Burma, which says “Hillary is on the right track.” The name of the sender has been redacted. The subject line is “Hello on my way to Burma.”
+ A December 28, 2011 email is partially redacted when it comes to the discussion of what Secretary Clinton should talk about with Leon Panetta, who at the time was Secretary of Defense.
+ An email on talking points for a call with Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Yerzan Kazykhanov, which contains a handy pronunciation as well: “kah-zee-KHAWH-nuff.”
+ A January 2012 email chain about a town hall meeting at the State Department that Clinton is having with State Department employees. “She is rocking this town hall. Could be the best one she has done,” one official tells Abedin.
+ A July 20, 2011 email which tells Clinton that she has a little more time before a scheduled phone call with the Israeli leader. “We also delayed bibi call so u have time to eat.”
As usual, there are items redacted that didn’t appear to be of any ‘classified’ import – but the names of those involved were clearly not released.
“We are back at home,” an aide writes to Clinton and Abedin. “(Redacted) has a cold. (Redacted) called in some antibiotics.”
The redactions include everything from phone numbers of White House officials to emails of private citizens in contact with Mrs. Clinton and her team, to certain details about the transition from Clinton to John Kerry at the State Department, and details about certain calls with foreign leaders.