Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who chairs the House Select Committee on Benghazi, sent a request to Hillary Clinton's personal attorney, David E. Kendall, requesting that the former Secretary of State appear before the committee no later than May 1 for a transcribed interview about her server and email account that she used for official business while serving as America’s top diplomat.
Gowdy’s request followed Kendall’s admission that Clinton’s server had been wiped clean, making the recovery of 30,000 emails she deleted last year impossible. In addition, the request asked Clinton to “reconsider" her refusal to turn over the server to a neutral third party. Gowdy characterized this as "highly unusual, if not unprecedented." Despite having been swept clean, Gowdy said, it remains "technically possible" to retrieve them.
For her part, Clinton said earlier that only personal emails not related to her work at the State Department were deleted. She contends that all work-related emails have been surrendered. State is reviewing the data in order to remove classified information. Gowdy is looking for any information in Clinton’s deleted emails regarding the circumstances of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the deaths of the American ambassador and three other Americans.
“Secretary Clinton’s refusal to allow the Inspector General to ensure the public record is complete is not only disappointing but portends to delay the ability of our Committee to complete its work as expeditiously as possible.
We, therefore, urge the Secretary to reconsider her position and allow a neutral, detached, and independent arbiter ensure the public record is complete and all materials relevant to the Committee’s work have been provided to the Committee.”
Gowdy’s letter continues:
“If the Secretary continues to reject the offer of a neutral review, the House of Representatives as a whole will need to consider its next steps.”
"Because of the Secretary's unique arrangement with herself as it relates to public records during and after her tenure as Secretary of State,” wrote Gowdy, “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."
In the March 31 missive, the South Carolina Republican warned that should Clinton refuse to surrender the server, "the House of Representatives as a whole will need to consider its next steps." While Congress is empowered to subpoena the server, neither House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) nor Gowdy will say whether they will use that authority. Boehner has also demanded Clinton turn over the server.
Gowdy’s Democratic counterpart, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland told the Washington Examiner that Gowdy’s characterization of Clinton is inaccurate since she has been willing to speak under oath to the committee.
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