Judge Sets Deadline for Clinton Email Review As Trump Calls for a ‘Special Prosecutor’
A federal judge has set a deadline for the State Department to review nearly 15,000 of Hillary Clinton’s emails as secretary of state, saying it should do so by Sept. 22, in a new development that could bring crucial implications for the presidential election.
The order, coming Monday from Judge James E. Boasberg of Federal District Court, means that the 14,900 emails could potentially be released as early as mid-October, just weeks before Nov. 8, noted The Wall Street Journal.
The latest batch of emails was correspondence that Clinton did not volunteer to turn over to the department last year, according to The New York Times. The FBI reportedly uncovered the emails after scouring Clinton’s private server and officials’ computer archives, then turning them in to the State Department late last month.
After determining which emails contain sensitive government information, the State Department will have to set a timetable for its release.
Judge Boasberg ordered the September deadline the same day conservative watchdog organization Judicial Watch also released hundreds of emails of longtime Clinton advisor Huma Abedin, saying that she “provided influential Clinton Foundation donors special, expedited access to the secretary of state.”
“In more than a dozen email exchanges, Abedin provided expedited, direct access to Clinton for donors who had contributed from $25,000 to $10 million to the Clinton Foundation,” Judicial Watch said in a statement.
Another email exchange suggests the crown prince of Bahrain “was forced to go through the Clinton Foundation for an appointment” with then-Secretary Clinton, the group continued.
Also on Monday, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump made calls for “a special prosecutor” to step in and investigate Clinton, accusing the FBI and Department of Justice of bias in its probe of the former secretary of state.
“The amounts involved, the favors done, and the significant numbers of times it was done, require an expedited investigation by a special prosecutor immediately, immediately, immediately,” Trump declared in an address in Akron, Ohio.
“After the FBI and Department of Justice whitewash of the Clinton email crimes, they certainly cannot be trusted to quickly or impartially investigate Hillary Clinton’s new crimes, which happen all the time.”
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The FBI announced in July that it would not be indicting Clinton over her use of a personal email server during her term at the State Department, angering many Republicans, not least Trump, who contend that the system is “rigged.”
TIME reported on the issue of independent counsel, noting that an external examiner would only be appointed if the attorney general determines a DOJ investigation “would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances.”