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After 10 Months, Thousands of Pages, Final Clinton Emails to be Released

The State Department will release later today the final batch of emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server.
Image: Clinton speaks to supporters at a primary night party in Columbia
Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters at a primary night party in Columbia, South Carolina, February 27, 2016. JONATHAN ERNST / Reuters

The State Department will release later today the final batch of emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server.

This will complete the roughly 55,000 pages of documents ordered by a federal judge to be released to the public. Despite the controversy surrounding their release, the information gleaned from these documents has been underwhelming.

Clinton is locked in a tough fight against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination and the release of the final batch of emails comes just before the critical Super Tuesday primaries.

Related: South Carolina Gives Hillary Clinton Her Most Important Win Yet

However, over 1600 of these documents have been retroactively upgraded to varying levels of confidentiality, including 22 now labeled at the highest level, “Top Secret.” The State Department is conducting a separate investigation into whether any of the emails, at any level of classification, included information that was classified at the time they were sent, even if they were not marked as such.

The government was supposed to release all of the documents by Jan. 29, but asked for a month-long extension to continue vetting the emails.

Related: Federal Judge Calls Out State Department for Delaying Release of Hillary Clinton Emails

Though often highly-redacted, some of these documents paint a picture of how Clinton’s State Department operated in crisis situations. In an email the evening of the Benghazi consulate attack, the secretary of state tells her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, alias Diane Reynolds, that two officers were killed by an “Al Queda-like group.

Read: Benghazi email

The former secretary of state says the reason she used her personal email for work is because she didn’t want to operate multiple mobile devices while on the road.

However, in one email from 2010 in which Clinton asks Huma Abedin how to use her new iPad. Clinton regularly used a Blackberry device.

Read: iPad email

Still other emails reflect the unique challenges that Clinton’s State Department faced, like in a 2012 email where aide Philippe Reines draws up a flow chart to show who rides with the secretary in certain situations.

Read: Flow chart email

Trustworthiness has been an issue for the Clinton campaign. Some 32% of Democratic voters say that it’s the most important quality a candidate can have, according to a recent national NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. In that poll, Clinton leads Sanders by 11 points.

And while this release may mark the completion of one chapter in the Hillary Clinton email saga, this is not the end of the story.

Just last week a federal judge ruled in favor of conservative legal advocacy group, Judicial Watch, who asked that top aids to the former secretary testify under oath about their knowledge and possible participation in establishing the former secretary of state’s private email setup.

The State Department has said they are reviewing the court order but has not said whether they would appeal the decision.