US State Department has released first batch of emails sent by Hillary Clinton using her private account while serving as Secretary of State.
Total of 296 emails which make 896 pages were released on State Department’s website, while the officials said they are still reviewing the remainder of 30,000 emails that Clinton sent or received during her time in office.
The documents cover an interval from January 2011 to December 2012 and include exchanges containing information as to the pre and post period of attacks at US embassy in Benghazi which claimed three American lives including the Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Shortly after the release State Department said, “The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during, or after the attacks,” through its official Twitter account.
Hillary Clinton came under heavy criticism when it was revealed earlier this year that she almost exclusively used her private account and servers during her years in the office, as federal laws require public servants to use official accounts.
After Friday’s release, Clinton said: “It's beginning. I just would like to see it expedited, so we could get more of them out more quickly.”
The released emails include a broad range of exchanges from memos and policy briefs to friendly letters to staff.
Some of the emails, however, were heavily redacted because of the sensitive information involved in them.
One of the redacted emails was sent by Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan shortly after the Benghazi attacks.
FBI requested the redaction of 23 words from the email because of its possible harm to national interest and foreign relations, State Department officials said speaking on condition of anonymity.
Many other exchanges between Clinton and her staff about Benghazi were also completely or mostly redacted.
After it was discovered that she used private emails for government business, Hillary Clinton, the perceived frontrunner for 2016 Democratic nomination, initially said she did it because of convenience and that in retrospect she thinks it was a mistake.
Earlier this week Clinton said she wanted her emails to be released to public.
On Tuesday, a federal court instructed State Department to start releasing the emails following the department’s statement that the review process can last until January 2016.