The FBI has recovered emails from a private server used by Hillary Clinton while secretary of state that she said were deleted because they involved personal matters.
The FBI is examining the server to see whether any information, including classified data, was mishandled. A Bloomberg source said the investigation would take at least several more months.
It was not clear how many of the personal emails had been recovered, the news agency said.
Clinton said the server was wiped clean after aides determined which messages were personal and which were work-related and should be turned over to the State Department.
The New York Times, however, said the FBI had recovered the emails, citing two government officials, one of whom said the process of recovery had not been too difficult.
The Times added that it was unknown whether the FBI had found all 60,000 of Clinton’s emails.
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill, asked about the report, said: “We’ve cooperated to date and will continue to do so, including answering any questions about this that anyone including the public may have.”
Clinton’s use of her private email for her work as America’s top diplomat came to light in March and drew fire from political opponents who accused the Democratic presidential front-runner of sidestepping transparency and record-keeping laws.
The controversy has cut into Clinton’s lead in the race for the Democratic nomination for the November 2016 election.
Clinton has apologised for using a private server rather than the government system but has said she sent no information by email that was classified at the time and received no material marked that way.
Last December, she provided what she said were copies of all the work emails she had in her possession, nearly two years after she stepped down as secretary of state.
She handed over about 30,000 emails she sent and received, although her staff have since acknowledged that some work emails are missing. She did not hand over another 30,000 emails from the period that she deemed personal and said she chose “not to keep”.
The company that managed Clinton’s private email server said it had “no knowledge of the server being wiped,” indicating that tens of thousands of emails Clinton said were deleted could be recovered, The Washington Post reported earlier this month.
The State Department has been releasing the emails to the public in keeping with Clinton’s request after redacting parts of them to remove sensitive or classified information.
In a recent court filing, the US Department of Justice said Clinton had the right to delete messages from her personal email account that she deemed non-work related.
“There is no question that former Secretary Clinton had authority to delete personal emails without agency supervision, she appropriately could have done so even if she were working on a government server,” the Justice Department wrote in a document filed in US District Court in Washington.
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