'Found my emails': Hillary Clinton flips through her emails at an Italian art exhibit

Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON-- Hillary Clinton, former secretary of State and the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, spent time Tuesday leafing through her emails that were on display at an art exhibit in Italy.

Clinton, whose 2016 campaign was shadowed by lingering questions after an FBI investigation into her use of a private email server while leading the State Department, sat at a replica of the Oval Office Resolute Desk and thumbed through thousands of emails during a visit to an art exhibit in Venice titled "HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails."

According to the description from exhibit co-organizer Zuecca Projects, the exhibit makes public “for the first time in printed format” some 60,000 pages of Clinton’s emails which, according to WikiLeaks, “were sent from the domain clintonemail.com between 2009 and 2013.”

"Hillary Clinton spent an hour yesterday reading her emails at my exhibition of all 62,000 pages of them in Venice," Artist Kenneth Goldsmith tweeted.

The former Democratic presidential candidate and first lady was “guided on a closed-door visit” of the exhibition, the curators say in a statement.

"I think the scene was so extraordinary that many customers believed that she was just a lookalike at first," the show's curator, Francesco Urbano Ragazzi, told the Huffington Post.

Answering reporters questions outside the exhibit, Clinton told Italian news outlet TGR Veneto, "It was and is still one of the strangest, most absurd events in American political history."

"And anyone can go in and look at them -- there's nothing there," Clinton says. "It's an artistic way of making the same point that I made in the book I wrote, 'What Happened,' and that is, there was nothing wrong, there was nothing that should have been so controversial."

On Twitter on Thursday morning, she said: "Found my emails at the Venice Biennale. Someone alert the House GOP."

During the 2016 White House race, then-candidate Donald Trump highlighted the long-simmering controversy surrounding Clinton’s usage of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of State, and chants of “lock her up” would often break out at his campaign rallies.

Then-FBI Director James Comey penned a letter to lawmakers after the investigation that stated the FBI stood by its original findings, made in July of 2016, that Clinton should not be prosecuted for her handling of classified information over email while secretary of State.

The often-derided refrain of "but her emails" was heard on the trail and on social media during the 2016 campaign to justify support for Donald Trump over Clinton. The remark was often attributed to Clinton opposers who were searching for a way to offset the latest negative news about Trump.

Clinton was reportedly already in Italy to attend an economic forum.

In a statement provided to the Hill, the curatorial team said “The exhibition is a way to allude to an alternative world that will never exist. We are happy that the real Hillary Clinton has been part of this image full of possibilities.

"The exhibition is indeed the portrait of a powerful woman, but also the portrait of a historical change in our understanding of notions such as transparency, propaganda, public and private space,” they also said.

Contributing: William Cummings, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Hillary Clinton leafs through her emails at Italian art exhibit