Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is crying foul, insisting the move is motivated purely by politics. You can make up your own mind after reviewing the facts. According to Fox News:
The State Department is asking a federal court for a one-month extension for the January 29 release of emails from former agency secretary Hillary Clinton, citing in part problems from this weekend’s snow storm and sparking outrage from Republicans about the delay influencing early voting in the White House race.
The article goes on to note that an extension, if granted, would push publication of the complete cache of Clinton’s emails past several of the earliest primary contests, including Iowa and New Hampshire. Dan Balz of The Washington Post notes that Iowa is a must-win for Clinton: “W win in Iowa would blunt [Bernie] Sanders’s momentum and provide some insurance against an expected loss in New Hampshire.”
In deciding whether this is a stall tactic by Team Clinton, consider the timing: The request was made Friday, before so much as single downy flake descended on the nation’s capital.
Consider also the duration of the extension being sought. Even if the snow removal effort sets records for its tardiness, which is unlikely, the chances that roads in D.C. will not be passable by Tuesday at the latest are remote. Ditto for flights in and out of area airports.
Possibly in light of this, State Department spokesman Mark Toner offered another explanation for why the agency cannot not meet its court-mandated goal of Jan. 29, namely some 9,400 of the 55,000 remaining pages “contain a large amount of material that required interagency review.” And if you don’t accept that, there is always the “dog ate my homework” excuse waiting in the wings.