A closer look at Clinton email censored prior to its release

Published May 23, 2015 8:30AM (EDT)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Among the several hundred Hillary Rodham Clinton emails released Friday is a message, sent to the then-secretary of state, that the FBI asked be redacted before it was made public.

The email, sent to Clinton on Nov. 18, 2012, originated with Bill Roebuck, then director of the Office of Maghreb Affairs at the State Department. It was forwarded to Clinton by her deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan.

The email begins: "Post reports that Libyans police have arrested several people today who may/may have some connection to Benghazi attack. They were acting on information furnished by DS/RSO (Diplomatic Security/Regional Security Officer)."

The next five lines of the email were redacted after the FBI asked that it be upgraded from "unclassified" to "secret," according to State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.

The officials said the 23 words in the message were redacted to protect information that could harm national security and damage foreign relations.

After those words, the email continues: "That may not materialize. Overall it could lead to something operationally, or not, and it could lead to some news reports from Libya saying there is a significant break in case, or not."

Roebuck's email was sent to a number of senior officials, including the former assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, Elizabeth Jones, who then sent it to Sullivan with the comment: "This is preliminary, but very interesting. FBI in Tripoli is fully involved."

Sullivan then forwarded the email to Clinton with the comment: "fyi."

There is no indication that Clinton herself forwarded the email.

By Lisa Lerer

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