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Top Dem on Benghazi panel: 'This is an effort to go after Hillary'

Top Dem on Benghazi panel: 'This is an effort to go after Hillary'
© Greg Nash

The top Democrat on the House panel investigating the Benghazi attacks accused Republicans of prolonging the investigation to politically damage Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSenate to vote Tuesday on Biden's secretary of State pick Portman planned exit sets off Ohio free-for-all Biden must wait weekend for State Department pick MORE.

“I did not want to believe it, but everything I’ve seen so far has led me to believe that this is an effort to go after Hillary Clinton. Period,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.) told reporters on Wednesday.

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“Clearly this has been a very much drawn out process,” he added.

Cummings’s comments came just hours after a report that the panel would subpoena former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for emails from her personal accounts.

Reports in recent days disclosed that Clinton did not set up a government email and used personal accounts while in office.

Cummings said that the investigation had morphed into a “fishing expedition to try to get all kinds of documents related to Hillary Clinton."

He added that the panel’s five Democrats “had absolutely no notice whatsoever” about the subpoenas despite an earlier pledge from panel Chairman Trey GowdyTrey GowdyThe Hunter Biden problem won't go away Sunday shows preview: Joe Biden wins the 2020 election Sunday shows preview: Election integrity dominates as Nov. 3 nears MORE (R-S.C.) that he would give the minority at least seven days' notice before taking such actions.

All 12 members were due to get a “status report” from State Department officials on Wednesday, according to Cummings, who said Clinton attorney David Kendall had turned over all documents and records relevant to the Benghazi attack.

The meeting was also supposed to review an outstanding subpoena from the House Oversight Committee about the State Department's accountability review board’s records on the attacks, he told The Hill.

However, Republicans canceled the meeting due to the looming winter storm, according to Cummings. It is unclear when it will be rescheduled.

— Jonathan Easley contributed