GOP Benghazi chairman: Clinton email account ‘troubling’

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A key House Republican is calling Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account as secretary of State “troubling,” and suggests it could prompt lawmakers to ask her to testify multiple times before a panel investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said the panel learned late last summer that Clinton used a personal email address exclusively while serving at the nation’s top diplomat.

{mosads}“You do not need a law degree to understand how troubling this is,” he said at a press conference attended by five other Republicans on his panel.

The South Carolina congressman called the fact that Clinton did not use a government email “nothing short of incredible.”

He vowed the panel would take “a number of detailed actions” to follow up on the disclosure, including contacting Clinton’s attorneys and her email providers.

“In the past I had thought that we would have a singular invitation to discuss the before during and after Benghazi,” Gowdy said.

But “this revelation … may well lay the groundwork for additional conversations with the secretary, in some setting or another,” added Gowdy.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) formed Gowdy’s panel to investigate the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that left four Americans dead in Benghazi. The panel is looking at the administration’s response to the attack and its efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Because Clinton was secretary of State during the attack, Republicans have long saw Benghazi as a potentially damaging chapter in her career. With Clinton considering a White House run, Gowdy’s panel could play a key role in GOP attacks on the presumed Democratic presidential front-runner in 2016.

Gowdy said the panel would also look into whether members of Clinton’s staff also used personal email accounts to carry out U.S. foreign policy.

Gowdy brushed off a suggestion by Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on his panel, that he make the messages public.

“I am not going to make any emails pubic,” said Gowdy, who argued it is unclear how many emails Clinton has released to his committee.

“We have no idea whether this represents 10 percent of the document production, 50 percent of the document production,” he said. “Whatever exists today could be contradicted by what’s produced tomorrow.”

He suggested the committee has approached Clinton’s email providers to investigate whether emails have not been turned over to his panel.

Separately, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, issued a statement saying he would work with Gowdy’s panel to determine if Clinton violated the Federal Records Act.

Tags Benghazi Hillary Clinton Trey Gowdy

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