Did Hillary Clinton Delete Benghazi Emails? 30 More Have Been Unearthed By The FBI

The State Department has confirmed to a U.S. district court judge the existence of 30 of Hillary Clinton's emails that may be related to the 2012 Benghazi attacks, which were uncovered during the FBI investigation. The State Department said it plans to release the emails by October, but it raised an obvious question: Why were these new Clinton emails not released sooner?

The simplest reason, according to what the State Department articulated, is that they weren't included among the tens of thousands of emails Clinton handed over to them to start prepping her presidential run. According to The Chicago Tribune, lawyers for the government told District Judge Amit Mehta on Aug. 30 that the tranche of approximately 30,000 emails Clinton provided to the department in 2014 didn't include these new Benghazi emails, and that it'd take until the end of September for them to be properly redacted and released to the public.

But Judge Mehta was apparently not satisfied with this timeline. As AP reported, he urged the state department to speed up the process, expressing disbelief that it would take more than a month to properly redact just 30 emails.

It's worth noting that it's entirely unclear whether the contents of the emails will be noteworthy or damaging to Clinton, or whether it'll just all amount to nothing. To this point, Clinton's Republican and conservative critics have come up largely empty during their years-long crusade on the Benghazi attacks, which included two lengthy congressional testimonies from Clinton.

It's also worth noting that these new emails were reportedly discovered by the FBI during its investigation, and handed off to the State Department. In other words, the bureau is already well aware of what's contained in them. In July, FBI director James Comey declined to indict Clinton over her mishandling of classified information, although he did characterize her behavior as "extremely careless."

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The Freedom of Information Act request which spurred Tuesday's disclosure was from Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, which has been hunting for Clinton-related scandals for the better part of 22 years ― it was founded in 1994, right in the thick of Bill Clinton's first term as president.

Whether by demonstrating she did something illegal or simply by stirring public distrust toward her, there's been a reliable movement underway to try to critically wound Clinton's presidential campaign ― common enough in presidential politics, but also part of the unique, decades-long scrutiny of the Clintons.