Clinton Email Scandal: State Dept. Asks To Delay Release After Key Primaries

The State Department is asking a judge to push back deadline to release 55,000 pages of Clinton emails to end of February, after key Democratic primaries.

The final batch of Hillary Clinton's emails is scheduled to be released to the public based on a court order. Tuesday, the US State Department said it needed more time, and is petitioning the judge to push the release back one month. That batch is expected to be about 55,000 pages.

The journalist suing the State Department, Senior Editor Jason Leopold with Vice News, says the Obama Administration is playing politics to make sure the release comes after the Iowa Democratic Caucuses February 1st.

ABC 30's National Correspondent in Washington, DC talked to that reporter, as well as former Republican Congressional Leader Tom Delay, who says the FBI may act soon.

Clinton continued her campaign in Iowa, saying Monday that she was "not concerned" about the FBI investigation.

If the court pushes back the release to the State Department's requested date, that would be after Iowa, as well as the New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada Primaries. That could give Clinton a political advantage in winning the Democratic Nomination, even if the emails show damning evidence classified information was sent through an unsecured personal email server.

Jason Leopold with Vice News sued successfully under the Freedom Of Information Act that forced the State Department to release the emails, and says he's now filed an opposition suit saying that State has not shown good cause for the extension. Leopold argues voters in those primary states would be harmed if they vote before learning about what really happened. "As Secretary Of State her communications, as well as other documents, we are entitled to ask for that information," Leopold says. "I think the public needs to have that information."

The State Department gave two reasons for the extension request. The request says officials there realized they forgot to scrutinize about 7 thousand pages of the email, and say the blizzard this past weekend is causing delays.

Former Congressional Leader Tom Delay says the FBI may act soon on its investigation, and things could get worse for Mrs. Clinton. "I have friends in the FBI and they tell me they're ready to indict," he says. "They also say if the Attorney General does not indict, they're going public"

Until then, experts can only speculate on how things will play out on the campaign trail, until Friday, it's up to the court to decide if we will see those emails before the Monday Caucuses in Iowa.

Kristine Frazao with SBG-TV contributed to this report

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