On Friday, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, revealed that rumored 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton deleted all of the emails that were on the personal server she used to conduct government business during her tenure as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013.
Gowdy released a statement saying that after the Committee granted Clinton a two-week extension, her attorney, David Kendall, informed them that Clinton “unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server.”
“After seeking and receiving a two week extension from the Committee, Secretary Clinton failed to provide a single new document to the subpoena issued by the Committee and refused to provide her private server to the Inspector General for the State Department or any other independent arbiter for analysis,” Gowdy said.
While Gowdy said that it is not clear exactly when Clinton deleted the emails, he believes it was after the State Department first requested that she make her emails public in October 2014.
“While it is not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department,” Gowdy said. “Not only was the Secretary the sole arbiter of what was a public record, she also summarily decided to delete all emails from her server ensuring no one could check behind her analysis in the public interest.”
Gowdy concluded his statement by saying that given Clinton’s “unprecedented email arrangement,” the Committee intends to question her about her decision to delete all of her emails nearly two years after leaving office.
“We will work with the leadership of the House of Representatives as the Committee considers next steps,” Gowdy said. “But it is clear Congress will need to speak with the former Secretary about her email arrangement and the decision to permanently delete those emails.”
On March 2, The New York Times released a report which revealed that during her tenure as Secretary of State, Clinton did not have a government email address and insisted on conducting business through a private email account on a private server, which has been traced back to her home in Chappaqua, New York.
On March 4, the Benghazi Committee issued subpoenas for all emails related to the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, from both Clinton and her staff members’ personal accounts.
On March 8, Gowdy revealed that although Clinton provided 50,000 pages of emails, there were “huge gaps” in her records and documentation from her trip to Libya following the terrorist attacks was not included.
On March 12, Clinton addressed her use of private email to conduct government business at a press conference. She claimed that it was done “for convenience,” so that she could carry only one device. However, on Feb. 24, Clinton had said that she was “like two steps short of a hoarder,” because she carried “an iPad, a mini iPad, an iPhone and a Blackberry.”
A poll conducted by CBS News found that in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, while 65 percent of Americans say that their opinion of her has not changed, 29 percent say their opinion of her has grown worse, which includes 49 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of Independents.
The poll also found that 47 percent of Americans do not see Clinton as trustworthy, and more than 6 in 10 Americans do not think Clinton’s use of a private email and server for government business was appropriate.