After news spread that Hillary Clinton relied exclusively on a personal email account while she served as secretary of state, the House Select Committee on Benghazi has sent subpoenas to the State Department today explicitly requesting all of her communications related to Libya.
“The Select Committee on Benghazi today issued subpoenas for all communications of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton related to Libya and to the State Department for other individuals who have information pertinent to the investigation,” Jamal Ware, communications director for the committee, wrote in a statement. “The Committee also has issued preservation letters to internet firms informing them of their legal obligation to protect all relevant documents.”
The documents are the latest request from Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the committee, as his investigation into the deadly attack continues.
“You do not need a law degree to have an understanding of how troubling this is,” Gowdy told reporters. “There are chain of custody issues, there are preservation of materials and documents issues ... there are best evidence issues, in addition to asking about archives and what safeguards may have been in place to protect this information."
While Gowdy stressed that Clinton had “more than one” private email account that she used during her tenure at the State Department, her lawyer wrote the committee today hoping to clear up any misconception.
“Secretary Clinton used one email account when corresponding with anyone, from Department officials to friends to family,” Clinton’s attorney David E. Kendall wrote in an email to the committee. "A month after she left the Department, Gawker published her email address and so she changed the address on her account. At the time, the emails were provided to the Department last year this new address appeared on the copies as the ‘sender,’ and not the address she used as Secretary. This address on the account did not exist until March 2103 [sic], after her tenure as Secretary.”
Nevertheless, Ware maintained that “the Select Committee on Benghazi is in possession of records with two separate and distinct email addresses used by former Secretary Clinton and dated during the time she was Secretary of State.”
"Without access to the relevant electronic information and stored data on the server -- which was reportedly registered to her home -- there is no way the Committee, or anyone else, can fully explain why the Committee uncovered two email addresses,” Ware said in a statement. “As Chairman Gowdy has noted, this is why former Secretary Clinton’s exclusive use of personal emails to conduct official U.S. government business is so problematic and raises significant issues for transparency. The American people have a right to a full accounting of all the former Secretary’s emails, and the Committee is committed to working to uncover all the facts.”
Gowdy said the committee discovered the existence of Clinton’s personal email accounts after obtaining documents late last summer that had not been previously produced to any committee investigating the deadly terrorist attack.
"The fact is the State Department cannot certify they have produced all of former Secretary Clinton’s emails because they do not have all of former Secretary Clinton’s emails, nor do they control access to them,” Gowdy said. “The State Department is relying on Secretary Clinton herself and her attorneys and advisors to tell us and to tell you what emails they think are to be preserved.”
Asked whether he still intends to call on Clinton to testify at the committee, Gowdy suggested the emails will lead to an invitation for the former Secretary of State to sit down behind closed doors with committee investigators.
“This revelation, which we’ve known about which has now been made public, may well lay the ground work for additional conversations with the secretary in some setting or another,” he said.
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