Policy & Strategy

Lawmaker on Benghazi panel compares Hillary to Nixon

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Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), a member of the House panel investigating Benghazi terror attacks is comparing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to President Nixon for her use of private email accounts in office.

“The last time we saw a high government official seeking to edit their own responses was President Nixon, and at least then he enjoyed the benefit of executive privilege,” said Roskam in a statement Thursday.

{mosads}The Select Committee on Benghazi, chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C), on Wednesday subpoenaed Clinton emails from her private accounts that are pertinent their investigation of the terror attack.

Their actions followed a report in The New York Times revealing that Clinton had exclusively used a private email account while serving as the nation’s top diplomat. Reports on Wednesday also claimed Clinton had used a personal email server from her home in New York

Clinton and aides had recently turned over some 300 emails to the committee, but GOP lawmakers have questioned if all important documents had been shared. 

“For months the Select Committee has pressed the State Department for access to all communications from key officials on watch during the Benghazi terrorist attacks,” Roskam said. 

“Yet until last week the Administration failed to mention that countless e-mails from Secretary Clinton have been missing from this search because she exclusively used private accounts during her tenure,” he said. 

Democrats have defended Clinton, saying she did not break any laws. The top Democrat on the Benghazi panel, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.) accused Republicans on the committee of trying to hurt Clinton’s expected 2016 White House bid.

Clinton in a tweet late Wednesday called for the State Department to release all of her emails to the public.

Republicans, though, have seized on the controversy. The Republican National Committee is asking the State Department to investigate whether she violated any laws.

Roskam said the revelation about private email accounts “raises serious questions regarding whether Secretary Clinton complied with federal record keeping requirements and the Obama administration’s record policies.”

He added that the committee would “follow the facts wherever they lead us.” 

“We intend to keep that promise by reviewing all of the relevant facts and documents in order to issue the definitive report on what happened before, during, and after the terrorist attacks in Benghazi,” he said. 

Correct The Record, a pro-Clinton group, hit back at Roskam’s statements.

“This partisan trolling by Peter Roskam only serves as more evidence that the Benghazi committee and its latest manufactured controversy regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails is complete political farce,” said spokeswoman Adrienne Watson in a statement to The Hill. 

“Republicans spend more time talking about Hillary Clinton than they do about real issues because they are afraid of the widespread support and admiration that Americans have for her leadership and vision.”

During the Watergate investigations, the Nixon White House released audio tapes of conversations between the president and top advisers. However, it was later revealed that 18 minutes of conversations were missing. Nixon’s secretary, responsible for transcribing the tapes, claimed she had inadvertently erased a portion of the recording.

This story was updated at 3:29 p.m.

Tags Hillary Clinton Hillary Rodham Clinton Peter Roskam Peter Roskam
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