The Note: The Curious Case of 50,000 Pages of Hillary Clinton E-Mails



--JUDGE REJECTS STATE DEPARTMENT'S PROPOSED 2016 RELEASE DATE: A federal judge yesterday rejected the State Department's proposal to wait until January 2016 to release over 50,000 pages of e-mails written by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ordering instead a "rolling production" of documents every two months, ABC's JUSTIN FISHEL and MIKE LEVINE report. In response to a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit filed by Vice News, the State Department on Monday had filed a declaration with Washington D.C.'s U.S. District Court arguing that the process of reviewing the emails is so arduous and time-consuming that it should have until January, 15 2016 to release them. Judge Rudolph Contreras ruled against that request yesterday, ordering instead that the department has until May 26 to produce a new production schedule for the releasing Clinton's emails.

--WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? It's not clear when the State Department will have to begin releasing the emails, FISHEL and LEVINE note. However, the decision that emails be slowly released over time may actually be more favorable to Clinton's presidential campaign than the State Department's original proposal, which was to release all of them just two weeks before the primary election season gets into full swing. State Department officials told ABC News that 300 emails relating to the Benghazi terror attack could be made public as soon as this week.

--WHAT HILLARY IS SAYING: "I have said repeatedly I want those emails out," Clinton said during a campaign stop in Iowa yesterday. "Nobody has a bigger interest in getting them released than I do. I respect the State Department. They have their process that they do for everybody and not just for me, but anything that they might do to expedite that process I heartily support."

--DEEP WITHIN THE STATE DEPARTMENT LIES A SMALL FACTORY OF WORKERS tasked with the laborious task of sorting, reading, redacting and reviewing paper copies of what now amounts to hundreds of thousands of pages of documents. The unenviable task falls to the State Department's Office of Information Programs and Services and its lawyers, better known as the FOIA office -- which stands for Freedom of Information Act. They've established a full-time staff, with one project manager, two case analysts, nine FOIA reviewers and a slew of additional information analysts who have been working since April. The text they must analyze includes 55,000 pages encompassing more than 30,000 emails from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email account, spanning from 2009 to 2013. More details from ABC's JUSTIN FISHEL:

--ANALYSIS -- ABC's RICK KLEIN: The tactic is clear: When you're up this big in the polls, with no one standing as a real rival, only bad things are likely to happen if you answer reporters' questions. But the strategy is less clear: When the campaign is this long, and when you're promising a different kind of candidacy that shows that the candidate is willing and able to work for it, more bad things than good are likely to happen if you're shielding yourself from the press. Voters are unlikely to care about a four-week stretch in April and May where Hillary Clinton did not answer questions. The consequence, though, was clear when she broke that seal: The ensuing scrum covered everything from her Iraq war vote to her Benghazi emails to her personal wealth. It's not an unreasonable expectation to see our candidates engage on the news of the day, on matters of policy and politics large and small. (And even a "real voter" couldn't get a clear position out of Clinton on trade on Tuesday.) But if limiting press access is a strategic, as opposed to a tactical, consideration, it's worth constant reevaluation.



CLINTON BREAKS HER SILENCE AFTER 28 DAYS OF AVOIDING THE PRESS. Hillary Clinton broke her 28-day streak avoiding the press yesterday. Following a campaign event in Iowa where she was discussing small businesses and entrepreneurship, the Democratic presidential candidate meandered over to the rope line to greet the media. She then proceeded to answer a total of six questions from reporters -- her first time to do so in roughly four weeks. During this "ramp up" phase of her candidacy, Clinton has kept her distance from the media, answering only a handful of questions from the reporters following her on the campaign trail. Here's a look at some of those questions and answers, courtesy of ABC's LIZ KREUTZ and BENJAMIN SIEGEL:

--ON THE CLINTON FOUNDATION AND FOREIGN DONATIONS: "I am so proud of the foundation. I'm proud of the work that it has done and that it is doing. ... And I'll let the American people make their own judgments about that."

--ON THE SITUATION IN IRAQ: "I know that there have been a lot of questions about Iraq posed to candidates over the last weeks. I've made it very clear that I made a mistake, plain and simple. ... The United States is doing what it can, but ultimately this has to be a struggle that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people are determined to win for themselves. And we can provide support but they're going to have to do it."

--ON HER WEALTH: "Well, obviously Bill and I have been blessed and we're very grateful for the opportunities that we had. But we've never forgotten where we came from, and we've never forgotten the kind of country that we want to see for our granddaughter. ... So I think that most Americans understand that the deck is stacked for those at the top, and I am running a campaign that is very clearly stating that we want to shuffle that deck."

--ON HER RELATIONSHIP WITH SIDNEY BLUMENTHAL AND OTHER OLD FRIENDS: "I have many, many old friends, and I always think that it's important when you get into politics to have friends that you had before you were in politics. ... When you're in the public eye, when you're in an official position, I think you do have to work to make sure you're not caught in a bubble and you only hear from a certain small group of people, and I'm going to keep talking to my old friends, whoever they are."

HAPPENING TODAY -- OBAMA TO CAST CLIMATE CHANGE AS A 'SERIOUS THREAT TO GLOBAL SECURITY': President Obama today will argue that climate change poses a serious risk to national security, as he delivers the commencement address at the Coast Guard Academy. ABC's MARY BRUCE notes. "I am here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and, make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country. And so we need to act -- and we need to act now," he will say, according to excerpts of his remarks as prepared for delivery. Timed to the speech, the White House is also releasing a report on the national security implications of climate change.

BOEHNER CALLS ON OBAMA TO 'START OVER' ON ISIS WAR AUTHORIZATION: Months after President Obama sent Congress his draft proposal to fight the Islamic State, House Speaker John Boehner called on the president to scarp his proposed authorization for the Use of Military Force and "start over." "With new gains made by ISIL in Ramadi, we know that hope is not a strategy, "Boehner, R-Ohio, said. "The president's plan isn't working. It's time for him to come up with a real, overarching strategy to defeat the ongoing terrorist threat." ABC's JOHN PARKINSON has more:

WHAT'S BEHIND THE SENATE FIGHT OVER FISH? The Senate has served up a new ingredient in the debate over President Obama's trade bill -- catfish. Senators are at odds over whether a USDA catfish inspection program should be repealed as part of the bill that would provide Obama with the "fast-track" authority to negotiate trade deals with foreign countries, according to ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, introduced an amendment to the trade measure that would eliminate the USDA catfish inspection program, arguing it duplicates seafood inspection programs already conducted by the FDA and complicates trade efforts with Asian countries. Angry and animated, McCain took to the Senate floor Tuesday to push for ending the USDA program, standing next to a giant picture of a catfish as he called the program "one of the most brazen and reckless and protectionist programs that I have encountered in my time as the U.S. Senate."


BEAU BIDEN UNDERGOING TREATMENT AT WALTER REED MEDICAL CENTER. Vice President Joe Biden's son, Beau Biden, is undergoing treatment at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the Office of the Vice President told ABC News. The White House has not offered any further comment on Beau Biden's condition, ABC's MARY BRUCE reports. Joe Biden's eldest son has been largely absent from the public eye since he sought medical treatment at a Houston cancer center in 2013 after feeling "weak and disoriented." At the time, the vice president and White House refused to discuss his condition, but doctors later said Biden had undergone surgery to remove a small lesion from his brain. The 46-year-old also suffered a mild stroke in 2010.


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