Republicans accuse Hillary Clinton of favouring foreign donors

Republicans accuse Hillary Clinton of favouring foreign donors

Republicans stepped up their attacks on Monday on former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server and pointed to newly released messages to allege that foreign donors to the Democratic presidential nominee's family charity got preferential treatment from her department.

Congressional Republicans issued subpoenas to three technology companies that either made or serviced the private email server located in the basement of Mrs Clinton's New York home.

The subpoenas were issued on Monday by Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and House Science, Space and Technology chairman Lamar Smith of Texas.

They said the move was necessary after the three companies - Platte River Networks, Datto Inc and Secnap Network Security Corp - declined to voluntarily answer questions to determine whether Mrs Clinton's private server met government standards for record-keeping and security.

The subpoenas were among several developments on Monday that showed a new Republican emphasis on Mrs Clinton's emails after the FBI recently closed its year-long probe into whether she and her aides mishandled sensitive government information that flowed through her server, without recommending criminal charges.

The State Department is now reviewing nearly 15,000 previously undisclosed emails recovered as part of the FBI investigation. Lawyers for the department told US District Court Judge James E.

Boasberg on Monday that they anticipate processing and releasing the first batch of these new emails in mid-October, raising the prospect that new messages sent or received by Mrs Clinton could become public just before November's election.

Mr Boasberg is overseeing production of the emails as part of a federal public-records lawsuit filed by the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch. Representing the State Department, Justice Department lawyer Lisa Olson told the judge that officials do not yet know what portion of the emails is work-related, rather than personal.

Mrs Clinton, who was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, had claimed that she deleted only personal emails prior to returning more than 55,000 pages of her work-related messages to the State Department last year. The department has publicly released most of those emails, although some have been withheld because they contain information considered sensitive to national security.

The thousands of previously undisclosed Mrs Clinton emails obtained by the FBI came from the accounts of other people she communicated with or were recovered through the bureau's forensic examination of her old server.

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon reiterated on Monday that Mrs Clinton provided all the work-related emails she had "in her possession" when the State Department asked for copies in 2014.

He said "if the State Department determines any of them to be work-related, then obviously we support those documents being released publicly as well."

Ms Olson said the department earlier this month received seven discs containing "tens of thousands" of emails Mrs Clinton sent or received during her tenure as the nation's top diplomat.

The first disc, labelled by the FBI as containing non-classified emails not previously disclosed by Mrs Clinton, contains about 14,900 documents, she said. The second is labelled as emails containing classified information.

She said it was "extremely ambitious" for the agency to complete its review and begin releasing the first batches of emails to Judicial Watch by October 14, given the volume of messages.

Judicial Watch lawyer Lauren Burke called that schedule too slow and pressed for faster release of the emails from the first disc. The judge ordered the department to report back to him by September 22.

Also on Monday, Judicial Watch released 20 previously undisclosed email exchanges involving Mrs Clinton that were turned over by her former deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin.

Among them is a June 23 2009, message to Ms Abedin from Doug Band, a long-time aide to former President Bill Clinton who then was an official at the Clinton family's charitable foundation.

Republicans charge that donors to the foundation, including foreign governments and corporations, got preferential treatment from the State Department while Mrs Clinton was secretary of state.

Mr Band sought to arrange for the crown prince of Bahrain to meet with Mrs Clinton while the prince was visiting Washington.

"Good friend of ours," Mr Band wrote to Ms Abedin, one of Mrs Clinton's closest aides.

Crown Prince Salman had in 2005 made a 32 million dollar commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative, a programme run by the foundation.

In later emails Ms Abedin confirmed that Mrs Clinton would meet with the prince. Copies of Mrs Clinton's calendar obtained by AP confirm the meeting occurred in her State Department office on June 26 2009.

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