State Department officials are set to release a batch of Hillary Clinton's private emails Friday amid a contentious court battle over whether the remainder of her records will see the light of day before the Democratic primary begins.

Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Jason Leopold, a reporter for Vice News, the State Department was required to complete the publication of roughly 30,000 Clinton emails by the end of January. A schedule laid out in May by Judge Rudolph Contreras of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia gave the agency eight months to review Clinton's records and publish them in small batches before the Iowa caucus on Feb. 1.

But the number of emails found to contain classified information has surpassed 1,300 and triggered a complicated process of inter-agency review that officials say has slowed the pace of production dramatically.

In court documents filed late last week, the State Department said it discovered in mid-January a stash of 7,254 pages of Clinton's emails that still needed to be sent to other agencies for review before they could be prepared for publication. Officials called the unprocessed papers an "oversight," but asked the court for an additional month to consult with other agencies before releasing the documents.


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