Benghazi Committee Summons Hillary Clinton To Answer For Emails

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

The Select Committee on Benghazi wants former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to appear before the committee to answer questions about the personal email account she used throughout her tenure at Foggy Bottom.

“We continue to believe Secretary Clinton’s email arrangement with herself is highly unusual, if not unprecedented,” Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) wrote in a letter to Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, Tuesday.

“The decision to delete these records during the pendency of a congressional investigation only exacerbates our need to better understand what the Secretary did, when she did it, and why she did it,” he added.

According to Gowdy, the committee is willing to schedule a transcribed interview at any time that is convenient for the former secretary. He wants the process finished before May 1, 2015, though.

“Toward that end and because of the Secretary’s unique arrangement with herself as it relates to public records during and after her tenure as Secretary of State, this Committee is left with no alternative but to request Secretary Clinton appear before this Committee for a transcribed interview to better understand decisions the Secretary made relevant to the creation, maintenance, retention, and ultimately deletion of public records,” Gowdy wrote.

He explained that once the committee is satisfied that all the documents related to the Benghazi attacks have been provided, it will then be able to schedule a public hearing. Gowdy says that the committee is only interested in her documents dealing with Benghazi.

“Although I have made this abundantly clear, it bears repeating: our Committee has no interest in any emails related to the Secretary’s personal, private matters nor is our Committee seeking documents unrelated to Libya and Benghazi during the relevant time periods,” he wrote. “The Committee is, however, committed to reviewing and considering every document related to the work the House of Representatives charged us with doing.”

Gowdy further questioned Clinton’s refusal to turn her server over to a third party and said if she continues to refuse the House of Representatives “as a whole will need to consider its next step.”

He also noted that despite the claim that the server has been wiped clean and that Clinton had turned over all her work related email to the State Department, there is the possibility of recovering the information.

“As you should be well aware, it is technically possible in many instances to recover electronic information notwithstanding whether it has been ‘deleted’ or overwritten. It is precisely for this reason a neutral and objective party must have access to the server and related equipment to identify information potentially responsive to relevant laws and investigative requests,” Gowdy wrote.

The request comes as the Associated Press reports that Clinton — who said she used a personal email account for official business because she did not want to use two devices for email — used an iPad in addition to her BlackBerry for official email as secretary of state.


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