Breaking News Emails
A batch of Hillary Clinton’s personal emails made public on Thursday morning offers a glimpse into her team’s initial exchange of information in the wake of the Benghazi attacks as well as her relationship with longtime confidante Sidney Blumenthal, who sent her at least two dozen memos regarding Libya during her tenure as Secretary of State.
The State Department plans to release about 850 pages of the emails, which had been handed over to the congressional panel investigating the Benghazi attacks. But on Thursday, the New York Times released about a third of that batch of correspondence, which Clinton exchanged using a private server rather than a government email account.
The documents show that, while Clinton used her personal email account to receive information the government calls “sensitive,” she did not appear to use her private server to exchange classified information.
The “sensitive” information included details like the location of State Department officials in Libya during a time of instability in the country in 2011.
The documents released by the New York Times also show that Clinton received numerous briefing memos about Libya from Blumenthal, a longtime friend of the Clintons who was not employed by the State Department. The New York Times reported earlier this week that Blumenthal was also involved with a possible business venture in the country at the time.
Two of those memos from Blumenthal came in the days immediately following the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks.
In one, sent on September 12, Blumenthal suggested that top security officers in the country believed that the attacks "were inspired by what many devout Libyan viewed as a sacrilegious internet video on the prophet Mohammed originating in America." Clinton forwarded that information to top adviser Jake Sullivan with the message "more info."
But another memo sent the following day indicated that the attacks may have actually been carried out by a militia group. Blumenthal wrote that officials in the country "believe that the attackers having prepared to launch their assault took advantage of the cover provided by the demonstrations in Benghazi protesting an internet production seen as disrespectful to the prophet Mohammed."
The release of the emails comes after a prolonged political fight for Clinton over her use of a private email server while serving as Secretary of State.
On Tuesday, Clinton urged the State Department to expedite the vetting of the emails after initial reports suggested that the data trove would not be ready for public release until January of next year.