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State Department Sued for Clinton Emails as White House Faces Questions

The new AP lawsuit isn’t the first -- and isn’t likely to be the last -- effort to get the emails.

JStone / Shutterstock

The Associated Press sued the State Department Wednesday morning in an effort to force the department to respond to outstanding requests for information about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s time in office, including emails, calendars and correspondence with top aides.

The lawsuit comes just a day after Clinton defended her use of a private email account — and home email server — while in office, saying that it was more convenient than using a government address.

Clinton’s explanation has done little to quell the growing controversy about her emailing habits, particularly after she said yesterday that she had deleted more than 30,000 emails from her account because they were about private matters.

At the White House Wednesday afternoon, Press Secretary Josh Earnest was bombarded with questions about the former Secretary of State’s email account, most of which he deflected to the State Department.

The AP lawsuit joins a small but growing list of legal challenges — mostly from conservative groups — facing State Department lawyers over the release of Clinton’s emails and other records. More are expected to be filed in the coming days, even though State Department officials announced yesterday they are reviewing the 55,000 pages of Clinton emails for release.

That process could take several months, however, and the AP suit is an effort, in part, to speed up that process.

Last week, the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch also sued the State Department for access to some of Clinton’s emails, which related to communications between Clinton, her aide Huma Abedin and the wife of former Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi. The group began asking for the information last August but says in its lawsuit that the State Department still hasn’t responded.

Another conservative group, Citizens United, filed a lawsuit last December after the State Department failed to produce documents related to Clinton’s travel records while serving as the nation’s top diplomat.

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