This Is What We Learned From The First Round Of Hillary's Emails

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It begins. On Thursday, the New York Times published the first batch of emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email account, which she used while in office. They're only a few hundred of the 55,000 pages turned over to the State Department to review and release, so this is only the first of what will be many, many looks at the presidential candidate's correspondence between now and the election.

According to the Times, the emails deal mostly with Clinton's reaction and response to the 2012 attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi, Libya. This set is also notable for what it doesn't contain — namely, any proof that Clinton sent secret information through her private email server or that she was using the server to conceal nefarious dealings. Some information was marked sensitive, but nothing was classified.

Conspiracy theories that Clinton had special knowledge of the situation in Libya as things deteriorated — and that she was involved in a coverup of the real circumstances of the attacks that killed four Americans — are still alive thanks to a congressional investigation that continues today. 

Earlier this year, news broke that Clinton used a private email server to conduct all her business while she was Secretary of State. The revelation raised countless questions about the security of potentially sensitive information, transparency, and the motives that would drive a public official to do work through a system that was shielded from any sort of public accountability. Clinton has still not addressed those questions. When she spoke to the press on Tuesday — the first time she's done so in nearly a month — she said she wanted the emails to be public. "Nobody has a bigger interest in getting them released than I do," she said, according to CNN.

The State Department is combing through the remaining 54,150 pages of emails, and had wanted to wait until January 2016 to release them — just two weeks before the first presidential primary. A federal judge ruled this week that the emails couldn't be held back that long. Now, we can look forward to periodic document dumps rather than one massive deluge.

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