The U.S. State Department Tuesday night released hundreds of more pages of emails from the account of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, in order to fulfill the order of a federal judge.
The 3,000 pages of e-mails were sent between March and December of 2009 during Clinton's first year as America's top diplomat. They discussed everything from day-to-day scheduling concerns to foreign policy issues with a wide variety of aides, Obama administration and other contacts, including former President Jimmy Carter, who had offered to go to North Korea to secure the release of two Americans detained by the communist regime.
Clinton, the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, has been criticized for her use of a private email address for her official correspondence while in office between 2009 and 2013. Her Republican rivals contend that Clinton used the private account in order to keep it out of the public record.
A federal judge ordered the department to adhere to a timetable for the rolling release of 55,000 pages of emails sent and received by Clinton while she was the top U.S. diplomat. A first batch of emails was released in May. The goal is for the department to publicly unveil 55,000 pages of her emails by the end of January 2016.
The emails are being redacted using Freedom of Information Act standards, blocking any information related to national security, personal privacy, privilege and trade secrets.
Republicans have seized on the email controversy as they press their case that the Obama administration was unprepared for the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador there. Several administrative and congressional investigations have highlighted security vulnerabilities at the U.S. mission in Libya while Clinton was secretary of state.
Republicans, insisting that the Obama administration sought to conceal the terrorist nature of the attack, have created a special Benghazi committee in the House of Representatives. Clinton allies say the panel is merely a political tool to disrupt the candidate on her quest for the White House.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said at a news briefing Tuesday that the latest batch of emails covers March through December 2009. Clinton has said she wants the department to release all of the emails as soon as possible.