The Slatest

It Took Jeb Bush Seven Years to Release All Emails From His Time as Governor

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush fields questions at the Iowa Ag Summit on March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Jeb Bush has been a harsh critic of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account during her time as secretary of state. But the former Florida governor took seven years to release all his email to comply with Florida’s public records statute. “Mr. Bush delivered the latest batch of 25,000 emails in May 2014, seven and a half years after leaving the Statehouse and just as he started to contemplate a potential run for the White House,” reports the New York Times. The state’s statute requires officials to release documents relating to their time in office at the end of the term. “If they’ve been adding to it, it’s a technical violation of the law,” said Barbara A. Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation.

Bush’s office began releasing emails starting in 2007, making new sets of communications public in 2009, 2010, and 2011. “But in 2014, they discovered a new set of 25,000 emails, which represents about 9 percent of the 280,000 emails that he has turned over to the state from his private account,” reports the Times.

Bush pushed back against claims that there were similarities in the way he and Clinton handled private emails, saying that he had been “totally transparent” about his communications. “We complied with the law and … long before Mrs. Clinton’s issues came up, we made them public for you to see, so it’s totally different,” he said, according to ABC News.