White House says will not release emails between Obama, Clinton

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State Department Releases Another Batch Of Hillary Clinton's Emails




The White House will not allow the immediate release of emails exchanged between President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton from when she was secretary of state, a senior administration official said on Friday.

The emails may be withheld until after Obama leaves office under the Presidential Records Act, according to the White House, a law that governs public access to the president's records.

The number of emails involved has not been made public. The White House said Obama and Clinton, who is now running as a Democrat to succeed him in office in 2017, exchanged emails "on occasion."

A federal judge has ordered the State Department to publicly release all of Clinton's emails from her four years as the nation's top diplomat between 2009 and 2013 after a Vice News reporter sued the department under freedom of information laws.

The State Department is releasing them in monthly batches through to next January; another 4,400 were released on Friday. They range from dull exchanges on scheduling matters to information that the government has redacted from public release because it is classified and could harm national security if disclosed.

It was not immediately clear whether U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan would agree with the U.S. executive branch's decision, which was first reported by the New York Times, that Clinton's emails with Obama did not have to be released under his order. The State Department declined to comment.

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Hillary Clinton's Email Scandal
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White House says will not release emails between Obama, Clinton
Representative Susan Brooks, a Republican from Indiana, questions Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, during a House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Under scrutiny for her handling of the Benghazi attacks and her use of a private e-mail server, Clinton plans to invoke the memory of slain U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens to defend her approach to diplomacy, saying they shared a common belief in the need for America to lead. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at an event at the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business in New York on July 24, 2015. The Justice Department said it had received a request to probe whether Hillary Clinton mishandled sensitive government information by using her private email for State Department business. 'The Department has received a referral related to the potential compromise of classified information,' a department official said in a brief statement that confirmed in part a story that first appeared in The New York Times. AFP PHOTO/ KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media after keynoting a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations March 10, 2015 in New York City. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as secretary of state. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton answers questions from reporters March 10, 2015 at the United Nations in New York. Clinton admitted Tuesday that she made a mistake in choosing for convenience not to use an official email account when she was secretary of state. But, in remarks to reporters after attending a United Nations event, she insisted that her email set-up had been properly secure and that she had turned over all professional communications to the State Department. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media after keynoting a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations March 10, 2015 in New York City. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as secretary of state. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media after keynoting a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations March 10, 2015 in New York City. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as secretary of state. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media after keynoting a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations March 10, 2015 in New York City. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as secretary of state. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Huma Abedin (R), aide to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, looks on during a news conference following Clinton's keynote speech at a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as secretary of state. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and other members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi speak to reporters at a press conference on the findings of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's personal emails at the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The New York Times reported that Clinton may have violated the law by using a personal email account for official business at the State Department. (Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Peter Roskam (R-IL), Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) of the House Select Committee on Benghazi speak to reporters at a press conference on the findings of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's personal emails at the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The New York Times reported that Clinton may have violated the law by using a personal email account for official business at the State Department. (Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton answers questions from reporters March 10, 2015 at the United Nations in New York. Clinton admitted Tuesday that she made a mistake in choosing for convenience not to use an official email account when she was secretary of state. But, in remarks to reporters after attending a United Nations event, she insisted that her email set-up had been properly secure and that she had turned over all professional communications to the State Department. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) of the House Select Committee on Benghazi speaks to reporters at a press conference on the findings of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's personal emails at the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The New York Times reported that Clinton may have violated the law by using a personal email account for official business at the State Department. (Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)
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Steven Aftergood, the director of the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy, said that "email messages to the president are potentially exempt" from release under freedom of information laws. However, federal judges have occasionally ruled against this exemption, Aftergood said.

Ryan James, a lawyer representing Vice News in the Clinton email lawsuit before Judge Sullivan, said he planned to challenge every "withholding or redaction" that does not meet the standards of freedom of information laws.

Clinton has spent months defending her decision to use only a private email account connected to a server in her New York home for her work as secretary of state, an arrangement that first came to light in March. She returned the emails to the department late last year.

Although she remains the favorite to become the nominee among Democratic voters, more than half of Americans have said in a series of recent opinion polls that they find her untrustworthy, in part because of her email habits.

Her critics say the set-up was an attempt to skirt transparency laws and may have made classified information vulnerable to hackers, charges she denies.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken the server Clinton used while secretary of state, along with other computer hardware belonging to her, to examine whether sensitive government information was mishandled, which can be a crime in some circumstances, or exposed.

Clinton has said she did not knowingly send or receive classified information through her private email system, a practice the government forbids.

But hundreds of emails that have been made public so far contain information that is classified, according to the State Department. The department says it does not know how much of that information, if any, was classified at the time she sent or received it.

Another 270 or so emails released on Friday contain classified information, according to the State Department. At least a couple of those email exchanges include classified information about military plans or weapons systems.

Much of the classified material in her emails is information provided in confidence by foreign governments. Government regulations say this sort of information must be classified, and Clinton has declined to explain why she and her staff often did not treat it as such.

To see more of Hillary Clinton, scroll through the gallery below:

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Hillary Clinton testifies on Benghazi 10/21
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White House says will not release emails between Obama, Clinton
Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton waits to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton arrives to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 22: Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes her seat prior to testifying before the House Select Committee on Benghazi October 22, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing to continue its investigation on the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans at the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, on the evening of September 11, 2012. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton waits to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton arrives to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during a House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Clinton said that she accepted responsibility for a lethal 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya and that she sought afterward to improve security for State Department workers abroad, as the House Benghazi panel investigating the incident began a hearing that may prove a turning point for her presidential campaign. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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