Benghazi panel chair: Clinton's email setup is a 'smoking gun'

Greg Nash

The chairman of the House’s special committee investigating the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, called Hillary Clinton’s unique “home brew” email setup a “smoking gun" in an interview this week. 

“People want a smoking gun; I think her email arrangement is your smoking gun,” Rep. Trey GowdyTrey GowdyLawmakers press Lynch for briefing on Yahoo secret email scanning reports Clinton IT aide pleads Fifth, skips hearing House Oversight subpoenas FBI for Clinton investigation documents MORE (R-S.C.) said on Fox News Radio’s Kilmeade and Friends on Tuesday. 

More than 1,300 of the emails that passed through Clinton’s personal server have been classified upon release to the public, Gowdy noted. 

“Some of which may have been classified at the time they were received,” he claimed. “When you’re dealing with a handful of things, sometimes the explanation is X. When you’re up north of a thousand documents — I can’t even fully get to that point.

“Because we have talked for so long about this unusual email arrangement she has had with herself, we have a tendency to just gloss over the fact that for two years none of her emails were in the public domain,” Gowdy added. “So whether it’s classified or not classified, this transparent administration that wants everybody to know everything did nothing for two years for us to find out what happened at the State Department.”

The interview was initially flagged by BuzzFeed News.

Gowdy’s comments come as the House Select Committee on Benghazi finalizes its last batch of interviews and looks to begin working on its final analysis at some point next month.

Clinton’s private server is currently in the hands of the FBI, which is investigating whether classified information was mishandled.

“I actually trust [FBI Director] Jim Comey,” Gowdy said on Tuesday. “I think Comey is a straight arrow and if there is something to the national security or the potential criminality, I trust the bureau will uncover it and we will all know about it.”

On Wednesday, the committee questioned former Pentagon Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash behind closed doors.

Ahead of that interview, Gowdy indicated to Boston Herald Radio that he would question Bash about the deployment of American military forces surrounding the 2012 attack in Benghazi. 

“Number one, did we have assets in the region that could have responded?” he said. “But an equally important question is, if the answer to that question is no, why not?"

Gowdy also appeared to indicate that his committee’s report may break from previous analysis, which concluded that no one within the administration issued a “stand down” order for U.S. forces.

“There are witnesses who say there was one, there are witnesses who say there was not one. And I wasn’t there,” Gowdy said.

“So the best I can do is lay out what the witnesses say, and then you’re going to have to make a determination as to who you believe is more credible.”