State Dept. not giving emails to Congress in probe over edited video

State Dept. not giving emails to Congress in probe over edited video
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The State Department is declining to give the House Oversight Committee any email messages as part of the panel’s investigation into eight deleted minutes from a 2013 press briefing video.

None of the messages discovered by the department were believed to be relevant to the 2013 episode, Mark Toner told reporters on Thursday.


“We have gone through the emails, but I don’t think we thought it was necessary to share those documents with the committee at this time,” he said.

“We didn’t find any documents and we’re not going to just hand over all the emails that … aren’t relevant.”

The comments suggest that the State Department had finished its review of employees’ email messages as part of the internal search to find the culprit who ordered the video to be snipped, but came up empty-handed. The department reopened the informal investigation this week, following orders from Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryBiden's climate policies: Adrift in economic and scientific fantasyland The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden expresses optimism on bipartisanship; Cheney ousted Watch live: John Kerry testifies on climate change MORE.

As part of that review, the department is only looking at official email accounts, Toner said, and not employees’ personal messages. The department has found itself facing intense scrutiny over the last year for former Secretary Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCongress won't end the wars, so states must Democrats say it's up to GOP to stop Trump 2024 Hillary Clinton to speak at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders summit MORE’s exclusive use of a personal email account while in office.

Despite not having any emails to hand over, the State Department did give the Oversight Committee a “lay-down of the events as we know them,” Toner said.

The roughly eight minutes of videotape from the 2013 briefing, which have since been restored, included a discussion of negotiations ahead of the nuclear deal with Iran, and suggestions that the Obama administration had been deceptive about the official start of those talks.