The political controversy over the email files of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shows no sign of ending, engulfing her standing as the leading 2016 Democratic presidential contender.
A federal judge has set a hearing for later this week on whether the State Department is ensuring the retrieval of all official records that Clinton and her aides had on personal email accounts or devices from 2009 to 2013, when she stepped down as the country's top diplomat.
The State Department said in a court filing that a partial review of Clinton's emails showed that 305 of them possibly contain classified information. Clinton has said she did not send any classified documents on her personal email account or receive any that were marked classified at the time.
Clinton has said that she used her personal email account for State Department work for her own convenience, but the Justice Department is now conducting a review whether classified government documents ended up on her computer server.
The British Daily Mail newspaper reported Tuesday she hired a small technology firm, Platte River Networks of Denver, Colorado, to maintain her computer server and it was stored in a bathroom closet at her New York home.
The Gawker Media online news site said it is seeking to look at the emails between Philippe Reines, who worked for Clinton at the State Department, and reporters at 33 news outlets. Gawker reports the State Department said two years ago it found no such records, but last week reversed course, saying it now has discovered more than 17,000 and is examining them to see whether they can be released.
After resisting for months, Clinton turned over the computer server to investigators last week. But she contends Republican complaints about the emails are merely an attempt to derail her presidential campaign.
"I will not pretend this is anything other than what it is: the same old partisan games we have seen so many times before," she told supporters last week in Iowa.
A lawsuit was filed against the State Department forcing it to review the emails on Clinton's private server. Those found to possibly contain classified information will be recommended to other federal agencies for further evaluation.
Critics have accused her of trying to hide controversial communications in her private account, including those concerning the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya in 2012.
Clinton has said she has turned over 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department and has authorized the agency to make them public.
The FBI has launched an investigation into the security of Clinton's private email server after the inspector general of the U.S. intelligence community said he found at least four emails that were classified at the time they were sent, including two that were deemed to be "top secret," the government's highest classification level.
Her campaign spokesman, Nick Merrill, has said Clinton has pledged to cooperate with the government's security inquiry, and if there are more questions, they will be addressed.