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About Those 33,000 Hillary Clinton E-Mails: QuickTake Q&A

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks at her mobile phone after attending a Russia-U.S. meeting on the sidelines of the 43rd annual Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Hanoi on July 23, 2010.
Photographer: Na Son Nguyen/AFP/Getty Images

"I will release my tax returns, against my lawyer’s wishes, when she releases her 33,000 e-mails that have been deleted," Donald Trump said at the first presidential debate, continuing to hammer Hillary Clinton for using a private e-mail system while serving as U.S. secretary of state. After initially downplaying the matter, Clinton now says it "was a mistake" to use a private e-mail server. For months, Republicans have expressed the hope that she’d be indicted for passing classified information in non-governmental e-mails. Though prosecutors declined to charge her, Clinton’s e-mail decision-making remains a top vulnerability for her in the presidential election.

Through her personal account,, Clinton sent or received about 60,000 messages while U.S. secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. About half of those, deemed work-related by Clinton’s lawyers, were turned over to the State Department and have been released in redacted form. The balance -- between 32,000 and 33,000, the ones Trump refers to -- were deleted from Clinton’s server after being deemed personal in nature.