GOP hits Clinton on email setup during Benghazi hearing

GOP hits Clinton on email setup during Benghazi hearing
© Greg Nash

Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton5 things to know about Boris Johnson Trump says Omar will help him win Minnesota The Hill's Morning Report — Trump applauds two-year budget deal with 0 billion spending hike MORE was confronted with numerous questions about her personal email system during her marathon testimony Thursday before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

Roughly 10 hours into Clinton’s appearance, committee Republicans demanded that she explain the controversial email situation, which drew a quick scolding from panel Democrats.

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“We believe the record might be incomplete, in part, because your version of events surrounding your email situation keeps changing,” Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanConservatives erupt in outrage against budget deal Will Democrats be up to the task of publicly interviewing Mueller? 10 questions for Robert Mueller MORE (R-Ohio) charged.

“We want the record so we can get to the truth,” he added.

“It seems like there’s a pattern” Jordan told Clinton, “a pattern of changing your story.”

Rep. Lynn WestmorelandLeon (Lynn) Acton WestmorelandJuan Williams: GOP to blame for civility's breakdown Veteran GOP lawmaker Westmoreland to retire GOP hits Clinton on email setup during Benghazi hearing MORE (R-Ga.) also chimed in, noting that “the thing that bothers me is because it was a personal server” over which she “had full control.”

The line of questioning broke with Republicans’ pledge to steer clear of Clinton's email unless it intersected their investigation into the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.

“Our committee is the committee on Benghazi, not the committee on emails,” Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) told reporters in September.

Democrats were quick to cry foul.

“I’m sorry, but what does this have to do with what happened in Benghazi?” Rep. Adam SmithDavid (Adam) Adam SmithThe House Democrats who voted to kill impeachment effort Overnight Defense: Esper officially nominated for Defense secretary | Pentagon silent on Turkey getting Russian missile system | House, Senate headed for clash over defense bill House and Senate head for showdown on must-pass defense bill MORE (D-Wash.) said, interrupting Jordan. “When are we going to get there?”

“I feel like channeling Bernie Sanders here tonight,” added Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffPelosi, Democrats launch Mueller messaging blitz Mueller testimony could be frustrating for both parties Hillicon Valley: Equifax to pay up to 0M over data breach | Settlement invites criticism from lawmakers | Microsoft settles bribery case | Election security to take back seat at Mueller testimony MORE (D-Calif.), referring to the Vermont senator's dismissal of the subject during the initial Democratic presidential debate last week. “But I’m no Larry David, and I know I wouldn’t do it right.”

Clinton has been criticized repeatedly for exclusively using a personal email address and private server during her tenure as the nation’s top diplomat.

Last year, she handed over to the government roughly half of the 60,000 emails on that server. She deleted the rest, saying they were personal.

Clinton’s lawyers personally reviewed the emails, she said, and also used search terms to determine which emails were work-related and which were personal.

“I did not look over their shoulders because I thought it was be appropriate for them to conduct that search, and they did," she said.

“You must have some of the fastest-reading attorneys in the world to go through that,” said Westmoreland. “How many attorneys does it take to go through 65,000 emails in two months?”

Clinton’s server is currently in the hands of the FBI, which is investigating the possible mishandling of sensitive information.