House Dem suggests Clinton is raising the bar for transparency

House Dem suggests Clinton is raising the bar for transparency
© Anne Wernikoff

The top Democrat on the House Select Committee on Benghazi is praising former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAre Democrats turning Trump-like? The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE for announcing that she wants messages from her personal email accounts to be made public.

“As far as I am aware, no other Cabinet secretary in history has ever called for the release of his or her emails — in their entirety and throughout his or her tenure,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said in a statement on Thursday. “I commend Secretary Clinton's decision.”

Clinton broke her silence about the brewing controversy over her personal email accounts late Wednesday night, tweeting: “I want the public to see my email.”

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She added that she has asked the State Department to release them.

Her comment came the same day the Select Committee announced it had subpoenaed Clinton for emails from her private accounts.

The panel “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,” spokesman Jamal Ware said in a statement.

Earlier Wednesday, Ware said the committee is in possession of “two separate and distinct email addresses” Clinton used while serving as the nation’s top diplomat.

Panel chairman Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyRising star Ratcliffe faces battle to become Trump's intel chief Cummings announces expansion of Oversight panel's White House personal email probe, citing stonewalling Pelosi says it's up to GOP to address sexual assault allegation against Trump MORE (R-S.C.) said he wants a response to committee's subpoenas, and preservation letters, soon.

"I like tight times. I would say two weeks. I need to either have the documents or really a good explanation of why you don't have to give them to me," he said Wednesday during an interview on Fox News's "On the Record."

The Benghazi panel is ratcheting up its investigation after The New York Times earlier this week reported that Clinton used a personal email account while serving in the Obama administration.

New reports later indicated that Clinton used a personal email server registered to her home in Chappaqua, N.Y.

While lauding Clinton’s decision, Cummings said he does not think “people fully realize what steps have already been taken” when it comes to releasing her records.

He said the State Department in October sent a letter to Clinton, along with other former secretaries, “requesting copies of emails from their personal accounts regarding official work.”

Clinton and her attorney reviewed her personal account, and in December produced about 55,000 pages of documents, according to Cummings.

In February, in response to a document request from the select committee, the State Department provided more than 800 pages of these emails related to the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, he said.

“All of these steps were taken before Monday's New York Times story,” Cummings said. “In contrast, it appears that no other former Secretary produced a single document — yet Republicans have been silent on this fact.”

He added that State would “now redact personal phone numbers and other information, which may take some time, but I believe this decision is the right one.”

It remains unclear when Clinton’s emails will be made public.

"The State Department will review for public release the emails provided by Secretary Clinton to the Department, using a normal process that guides such releases,” deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said in a statement early Thursday morning. “We will undertake this review as quickly as possible; given the sheer volume of the document set, this review will take some time to complete."