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State Department Releases Hundreds of Clinton's Emails on Libya

The documents span a two year period from January 2011 to December 2012
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The State Department has released over 800 pages of emails sent and received on Hillary Clinton’s private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State.

The documents span a two year period from January 2011 to December 2012 and include emails exchanged about Libya leading up to and including the time of the Benghazi attacks. Some of the emails are heavily redacted.

Clinton has come under fire for using the private server and a personal email account rather than a government address to conduct official business. The State Department is releasing the vetted documents at the request of journalists and Clinton herself, who has said that she wants them to be made public. The agency is still reviewing the remainder of 55,000 pages of Clinton's correspondence and pledges to make them available "on a rolling basis."

Before the release of the emails on Friday, the State Department said that nothing in the documents changes the "essential facts" of what is known about the Benghazi attacks or Clinton's actions at the time.

But Rep. Trey Gowdy, who leads the House committee investigating the Benghazi attacks, said in a statement that the emails were first reviewed by Clinton's legal team and represent only a fraction of the total correspondence conducted on her private email server.

"The best way to answer all questions related to the attacks in Benghazi continues to be having access to the full public record, not a "record" controlled, possessed and screened exclusively by Secretary Clinton's personal lawyers," he said.

Clinton responded to that criticism during an event in New Hampshire, telling NBC News that "we have released all of them that have any government relationship whatsoever."

She reiterated that she hopes the State Department expedites the process of releasing more of her emails as soon as possible.

On Thursday, the New York Times released about a third of the material, which included memos sent to Clinton from longtime confidante Sidney Blumenthal. Blumenthal, who was not employed by the State Department, sent her memos attempting to pinpoint the cause of the Benghazi in the days after the September 11, 2012 assault.

Here are some of the exchanges worth noting. (This post will be updated as the NBC News team continues to review the documents.)

One of the emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server had parts made classified at the request of the FBI.

The email was sent Nov. 18, 2012 from William Roebuck, the director of the office of Maghreb Affairs at the State Department, and was sent to a variety of State officials including former acting assistant secretary of state Beth Jones. Jones forwards it to a group that includes Jake Sullivan, writing: “This preliminary, but very interesting, pis see below. FBI in Tripoli is fully involved.” Sullivan forwards it to Clinton, writing simply “FYI.”

In the redacted email, Roebuck writes: “Post reports that Libyans police have arrested several people today who may/may have some connection to the Benghazi attack. They were acting on information furnished by DS/RSO.”

Then, five lines of text are redacted.

The public text picks up again: “That may or may not materialize, according to David McFarland.” Then, another redacted portion, about half a line.

Then: “Overall, this could lead to something operationally, or not, and it could lead to news accounts from Libya saying, there is a significant break in the case, or not.”

Speaking to reporters in New Hampshire on Friday, Clinton said: "I'm aware that the FBI has asked that a portion of one email be held back. That happens in the process of Freedom of Information Act responses."


Hillary Clinton joked about having a “cracked head” when she suffered a concussion in December 2012.

In an email to deputies William Burns and Tom Nides sent on the morning of December 20, Clinton apologized for not being able to testify on Capitol Hill about the Benghazi attacks.

“I'm sorry that I cannot be on the Hill today as we had long planned, but very grateful that you both will be. The Department and I appreciate your leadership everyday. So, I’ll be nursing my cracked head and cheering you on as you "remain calm and carry on"!


On September 27, 2012, Clinton deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan forwarded to Hillary Clinton an email that detailed “the revised TPs for HPSCI” (translation: the talking points for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.)

The contents of the email are completely redacted. The original author of the email is also redacted.


In a series of emails titled “Fw: Benhazi/protest statements” (sic) on September 24, Jake Sullivan forwarded a compilation of statements Clinton made in the wake of the Benghazi attacks, making a retort to those who accused the Obama administration of blaming the attacks solely on a spontaneous riot responding to a sacrilegious video.

“You never said spontaneous or characterized the motives, in fact you were careful in your first statement to say we were assessing motive and method. The way you treated the video in the Libya context was to say that some sought to *justify* the attack on that basis,” Sullivan writes.

Clinton responded, asking the full record to be printed.


On September 15, 2012, just days after the attack, former Defense Secretary Bob Gates sent the following note of condolences to Clinton. The text follows in full .


I just want to offer my personal condolences over the loss of four fine foreign service officers. The Ambassador was a perfect role model of the kind of person we need representing us around the world, and the others had so much to give -- and already had given so much.

I know it has been a hard week for you, and I wanted simply to express my sympathy and tell you I was thinking of you.

Bob Gates


Showing the extent of the State Department’s redactions -- A draft of a Clinton speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies scheduled for October 12, 2012, is completely redacted.

The draft, sent by speechwriter Dan Schwerin and addressed to “Madam Secretary” is for “Remarks on the Maghreb in Transition.” The contents of the speech have been entirely removed.


On October 19, 2012 Hillary Clinton emailed chief of staff Cheryl Mills inquiring about an NPR report regarding the Benghazi attack. The report indicated that a CIA official in Tripoli had sent a cable saying there was in fact “no demo” - meaning no demonstration -- in Tripoli. "Have not seen - will see if we can get," Mills responded.


— Carrie Dann, Andrew Rafferty and Leigh Ann Caldwell