The House Select Committee on Benghazi has formally asked Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe curious case of the COVID-19 origin Harris headlining Asian American Democratic PAC's summit Congress won't end the wars, so states must MORE to answer questions about her use of private email and a personal server while serving as secretary of State.

In a letter to Clinton’s attorney, panel Chairman Trey GowdyTrey GowdyFox News signs Trey Gowdy, Dan Bongino for new shows Pompeo rebukes Biden's new foreign policy The Hunter Biden problem won't go away MORE (R-S.C.) said his committee is “committed to reviewing and considering every document related to the work the House of Representatives charged us with doing.”


“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,” he said.

The panel is “willing to schedule the interview at a time convenient for Secretary Clinton, but no later than May 1, 2015,” according to Gowdy.

He added that the committee “believes a transcribed interview would best protect Secretary Clinton's privacy, the security of the information queried, and the public's interest in ensuring this Committee has all information needed to accomplish the task set before it.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the panel's top Democrat, knocked the decision to speak with Clinton in private.

"Secretary Clinton agreed to testify months ago-in public and under oath-so the Select Committee's claim that it has no choice but to subject her to a private staff interview is inaccurate," he said in a statement. "Rather than drag out this political charade into 2016 and selectively leak portions of a closed-door interview, the Committee should schedule the public hearing, make her records public, and re-focus its efforts on the attacks in Benghazi."

The request comes days after Gowdy announced that the panel had learned Clinton erased all information from her personal email server.

"Once there is a reasonable assurance all documents in the Secretary's care, custody and control related to what happened before, during, and after the attacks in Benghazi have been shared with the Committee, we will be in a position to schedule her appearance in a public hearing to constructively discuss these topics," Gowdy said.

He added that the panel shares Clinton's desire that "these two conversations take place as quickly and efficiently as possible."

Gowdy said that the select committee continues to believe Clinton's email arrangement with herself is "highly unusual, if not unprecedented."

Clinton has argued that the messages contained on the server were personal, but Gowdy and other Republicans have raised questions over whether she might have deleted messages that could damage her anticipated White House bid.
“I have absolute confidence that everything that could be in any way connected to work is now in the possession of the State Department," Clinton said during a press conference in New York earlier this month.
She said she had gone through more than 60,000 emails from her time at State and determined that roughly 30,000 of them were public records that should have been kept.

In his letter, Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, said 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."

Gowdy repeated his request for Clinton to turn her personal server over to a neutral, third-party.

The letter came just hours after Gowdy said House Republicans were weighing if another panel should look into Clinton's email practices.

"I would say in the very near future we are going to formally invite Secretary Clinton to come before either our committee or Speaker BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBipartisanship has become a partisan weapon The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez What's a party caucus chair worth? MORE believes it's best to be in front of another committee, whatever committee Speaker Boehner wants," he said on Monday during an interview with Fox News' "On The Record."

He said the "line of inquiry about her emails is separate and apart from Benghazi because there are equities beyond Libya. There is Iran and Somalia, Bolivia, you name the issue while she was secretary of state, and somebody has equity in those answers. That's broader than just our committee. I'm going to do whatever the speaker asks me to do. But I'm not looking to enlarge the jurisdiction of our committee. Four murdered Americans are enough for me."

The idea of Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBipartisanship has become a partisan weapon The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez What's a party caucus chair worth? MORE (R-Ohio) setting up a separate investigation to examine Clinton's use of personal email was floated a few weeks ago but there has been no movement on that front.

Meanwhile, the State Department's Inspector General announced he had begun an investigation into Clinton's email arrangement.

The review came in response to a letter from the Republican National Committee that urged the watchdog “to conduct an investigation into whether Secretary Clinton violated Department of State policies concerning the use of personal email addresses to conduct government business.”

“We're reviewing it and will respond,” a spokesman for the inspector general's office told The Hill. “Everything is thoroughly reviewed.”

The Associated Press has also reported that Clinton used a variety of devices, including an iPad, to send official emails while she ran Foggy Bottom, contrary to prior claims that the private account allowed her to keep to one device.

—Updated at 11:49 a.m.