— -- The State Department said today that as many as 30 previously undisclosed emails that may refer to the 2012 Benghazi attack are included in the thousands of deleted documents recovered by the FBI during an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she served as secretary of state.
Government lawyers revealed the number of potential new documents during a hearing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia regarding lawsuits filed by the conservative legal group Judicial Watch, which is seeking access to records related to Clinton’s time at the State Department. Clinton is the Democratic presidential nominee.
Some or all of the emails may be duplicates of emails previously handed over to the State Department by Clinton, government lawyers said. The department said it would like time to review the emails to determine whether they contain any classified information.
Judge Amit Mehta determined that the State Department and Judicial Watch must deliver a status report to the court by Sept. 6 to indicate how many of the emails are non-duplicative of any other communications Clinton has previously disclosed.
"I encourage you to get it done sooner rather than later," the judge told a government lawyer during the hearing. "I'm confident you can get it done by the 6th."
The Justice Department closed its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server without filing any criminal charges, but the issue is being kept alive, in part, by Judicial Watch lawsuits that seek to make more government records public.
Clinton has said it was a mistake to use a private email server while serving as secretary of state but has denied breaking any laws.
Clinton has also said her team only deleted emails from her server that were personal in nature and not related to her duties as secretary of state.