18:57 GMT +321 August 2019
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    Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton (L) and longtime aide Huma Abedin at a campaign event in Iowa, November 2015.

    Advocacy Group Challenges US State Department Hold on 30 Clinton Emails

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    A US court is being asked to reject a claim by the US Department of State that 30 emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s secret email server are exempt from public disclosure, the advocacy group Judicial Watch said in a press release on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The lawsuit, originally filed in by Judicial Watch in May 2015, seeks all emails sent or received by Clinton in her official capacity as secretary of state, as well as all emails by other State Department employees to Clinton.

    "It would appear that one purpose of the withheld [email] discussions in this case was to manage the public messaging about government misconduct so as to mislead the public about its severity," the release stated.

    US federal law requires that Clinton, a public servant, return all communications during her tenure as secretary of state. However, Clinton erased at least 33,000 of her emails.

    The press release claimed the State Department’s justification for withholding 30 emails is based on an unspecified "deliberative process," as well as attorney-client privileges. Judicial Watch said it would ask a federal judge to overrule the department's decision.

    Judicial Watch’s action is a civil matter as opposed to an earlier criminal probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which investigated whether Clinton intended to violate federal law by using a private server and email account

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