The State Department on Friday released nearly 300 emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clintonrelated to the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.
“The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during, or after the attacks,” said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.
The issue of the emails garnered attention after Clinton, who is now running for U.S. president, admitted she used her private email address while serving as head of the State Department between 2009 and 2012.
In addition to the Benghazi attack, the documents also relate to Washington’s diplomatic relations with Libya and other countries.
Clinton has said she wanted the emails released but the because the content of the messages could be deemed sensitive, the federal government wanted to first conduct a review.
Following a meeting with business leaders in the state of New Hampshire on Friday, Clinton said she was “glad” the 296 emails were finally released and repeated that her emails were handled “appropriately” while she was the top U.S. diplomat.
The State Department is still reviewing 55,000 pages of emails from Clinton’s private email account, which Clinton saved on a private server before handing them over to the federal government last year.
Republicans have tired to turn the matter into a campaign issue.
While Clinton wanted public to see her emails, and she asked early March “State -dept.- to release them,” since the content of the emails are state related issues, first government wanted to review them before sharing with public.
Trey Gowdy, who chairs the House committee investigating the Benghazi attack that killed four U.S. citizens including ambassador Chris Stevens, criticized the release as “self-selected emails” that was “reviewed and released”.
He asked that the remained of the emails be released. “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.”
House Speaker John Boehner joined Gowdy in demanding a full audit of Clinton’s emails. “Sec Clinton’s emails released today are SELF-selected. Still need an independent party to review,” he said on Twitter.