Hillary Clinton’s email scandal is far from over. On Monday, a US Federal District Court judge ordered the State Department to provide a timetable for the release of 14,900 new documents, most of which are believed to be emails sent to and from Hillary Clinton.
The documents were turned over to the State Department at the end of the FBI’s investigation into the personal email server Clinton used while serving as US Secretary of State.
FBI director James Comey has since said Clinton was “extremely careless” in handling her emails as Secretary of State, but he did not recommend charges be brought against her. He also said there was no evidence emails “were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them”.
So what’s the scary part?
Well, part of it is that the State Department could make the additional emails publicly available in October, just a few weeks before the November 8 US presidential election. The revelation could provide new fodder to aggressive GOP rivals looking to build a case against Clinton heading into the election.
The other part of it is that we still don’t know the totality of the confidential information that was sent to and from the server. As we’ve previously reported, Clinton used a personal email address for all of her official business as Secretary of State. As a result, her email was far from secure.
Hackers could have accessed the trove of emails in a number of different ways. Because Clinton added several third parties into the equation, hackers could have accessed sensitive information without directly hacking US government servers, but instead by focusing on the third parties involved.
Clinton has already been scrutinised by Republican rivals about her original email scandal, and if more documents are made public, it would likely reignite the debate about how she handled her role as Secretary of State. The State Department is scheduled to craft its timeline at a meeting on September 23.
Clinton has successful brushed off ridicule after more than 30,000 emails were published over the course of last year. Although criminal investigations into Clinton’s emails servers have finally ended, US GOP lawmakers such as Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) have issued subpoenas to private companies that help run Clinton’s email servers. For rivals like this, the next 15,000 emails could provide perfect fodder for criticism right before the election.