WASHINGTON — The State Department issued what is likely to be its final release of emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server before Election Day.
The State Department released 285 pages of emails Friday and two emails upgraded to “confidential,” retroactively, by reviewers — the lowest level of classification.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said Friday’s release included a large number of “near duplicate” emails, largely identical to previously released emails.
This latest release paled in volume compared to Thursday’s release and previous massive document dumps, but it continued a drip-drip of email releases that has followed Clinton since before she entered the race.
The content of the emails themselves has mattered little in the election compared against the consistent reminder that Clinton was the subject of an FBI probe because she used a private email server to conduct State Department business.
Email woes, in one form or another, have knit together voters’ concerns about Clinton’s trustworthiness since before she even entered the race and the troubles have been persistent, to say the least.
FBI Director James Comey delivered one final October surprise last week when he alerted Congress that the FBI had discovered yet more emails potentially related to Clinton’s server. Adding to the damage was the revelation that they were discovered on the laptop of Huma Abedin’s estranged husband, Anthony Weiner, while federal investigators were investigating his sexting with a purportedly underage girl.
And WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has made the release of John Podesta’s hacked emails a daily — sometimes twice daily — occurrence in the last 30 days of the election.
Friday’s batch comes out of the emails the FBI collected in its investigation of Clinton and, recently, turned over to the State Department.
The newest emails were largely duplicates of previously released messages, but included some new material, including a February 2010 request from Chelsea Clinton that her mom look into expanding the role of the USNS Comfort in Haiti relief efforts.
The emails stem from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by VICE News reporter Jason Leopold and more are expected to come out after the election.
The peril for Clinton is unlikely to end on Tuesday, as a handful of Republican lawmakers have begun openly talking about possible impeachment proceedings for her handling of emails and the Congress, if it remains in Republican hands, is all but guaranteed to continue its own investigations of Clinton.