"Now, any person should be able to review that in one day," Judge Richard Leon said of a request for some of Hillary Clinton's emails

By Tierney McAfee
Updated July 30, 2015 03:25 PM
Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty

As the red tape keeps rolling in the Hillary Clinton email scandal, an exasperated federal judge on Thursday called out the State Department for failing to release the presidential candidate’s emails in a timely fashion.

The Associated Press sued in March after the State Department failed to respond to multiple Freedom of Information Act requests – including one made five years ago – for emails and other materials related to Clinton’s time as secretary of state.

During a court hearing in the case, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon said he couldn’t understand why the State Department had yet to respond to the AP’s requests, reports Politico.

“Now, any person should be able to review that in one day – one day,” the judge said as he looked over a request for about 60 emails. “Even the least ambitious bureaucrat could do this.”

John Hackett, the head of the State Department’s FOIA operations, said the department’s limited staff was working to release the documents while handling thousands of other requests.

But the judge pressed Hackett, adding that the State Department should be quicker in processing requests for Clinton’s schedules and calendars.

“It’s just schedules and calendars,” the judge said. “It’s not detailed memos or position papers or policy papers or anything like that.”

The judge’s complaints echo those of Republicans and State Department critics who have accused the agency of stalling its responses to FOIA requests in order to protect Clinton, particularly in relation to her involvement in the 2012 Benghazi attack.

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But it looks like the AP – and the judge – won’t have to wait much longer. Another batch of Clinton’s emails is set to be released on Friday, with more due out on the last business day of the month, according to Mother Jones.