The State Department announced Friday that it is sending the House Benghazi committee nearly 1,000 emails from Hillary Clinton’s private account — a batch three times larger than the set of Clinton messages her former agency sent to Capitol Hill back in May.
A senior State Department official said the decision to provide the new set of about 925 emails is linked to Clinton’s expected testimony to the panel next month and to a clearer understanding by State officials that Congressional investigators want all Libya-related records, not just those involving security issues related to the deadly 2012 attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi.
“We recognize the potential that an advanced look at Libya-related materials may be beneficial to the Benghazi Committee as it prepares for its hearing with the former [secretary] on October 22nd. To accommodate that, the Department undertook another review of the emails provided by former Secretary Clinton to provide such Libya-related emails, and to ensure all Benghazi-related materials have been provided to the Committee,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
A spokesman for the Benghazi panel, Jamal Ware, said he hoped the move was a signal that State is now seeking to be more helpful to the committee’s work.
“State is confirming it failed to previously disclose all Libya and Benghazi-related messages from the former Secretary,” Ware said in a statement. “The State Department, which has failed to comply with multiple Benghazi Committee requests and failed to act in good faith, is now indicating it intends to foster a more cooperative relationship with the committee. It’s curious the Department is suddenly able to be more productive after recent staff changes involving those responsible for document production.”
Ware appeared to be referring to the departure a few weeks ago of a State Department lawyer involved in the response effort, Kate Duval. Republicans were wary of her efforts because of her history handling Congressional investigations into alleged targeting of conservative organizations by the IRS.
However, State spokesman Alex Gerlach said the effort to hand over the new batch of emails was in the works before Duval left.
“In her last month, she helped us produce more than 20,000 pages of material and facilitated several interviews between State Department staff and the Committee,” her said.
Ware stressed that the panel had little ability to assess State’s latest release since the documents have yet to arrive.
Read more: Politico