On Wednesday, the House Select Committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, issued subpoenas for the emails of Hillary Clinton, who used her private email account for government business, during her four years as U.S. Secretary of State.
The Washington Post reported that the Committee is asking for all e-mails related to the Benghazi attack “from all Clintonemail.com accounts and any other staff members’ personal accounts.”
The Associated Press reported that Clinton had a personal email server, which could be traced back to her home in Chappaqua, New York, and that the “unusual practice of a Cabinet-level official running her own email server” would have given Clinton “significant control over limiting access to her message archives.”
Jamal Ware, the Committee’s communications director, released a statement on Wednesday, announcing the Committee’s decision:
“The Select Committee on Benghazi today issued subpoenas for all communications of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton related to Libya and to the State Department for other individuals who have information pertinent to the investigation. The Committee also has issued preservation letters to internet firms informing them of their legal obligation to protect all relevant documents.”
According to the Washington Post, after finding evidence that Clinton was using her personal email address to conduct government business, the Committee also found evidence suggesting that “at least a small group of Clinton staffers” used personal emails to “conduct government work and correspond with the secretary.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, defended Clinton, saying that her use of private email has been public knowledge for several years. He said he sees this as “an effort to go after Hillary Clinton, period.”
Patrick Peterson, chief executive of the Cybersecurity company Agari, told the Los Angeles Times that Clinton’s use of her private email raised several red flags, in terms of security and vulnerability.
“We pay taxes to guarantee entire staffs monitoring this stuff, and here they are running off and doing it on their own,” Peterson said. “The real irony is she might have made it harder for us as a populace and citizens to legally discover her email contents, but this potentially increases the chances that China and Russia can get in.”
Clinton’s use of her private email for government business during her time as Secretary of State was first revealed by the New York Times on Monday. According to the Times, it wasn’t until two months ago that Clinton’s advisors “reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department.”
The Associated Press noted that the questions surrounding Clinton’s decision “left the Obama administration in an awkward position,” and that the White House has said it is Clinton’s responsibility to “make sure any emails about official business weren’t deleted from her private server.”
March 9, 2015: UPDATE: Hillary Clinton’s Chief of Staff Fired Ambassador for Using Private Email
March 10, 2015: UPDATE: Benghazi Chairman: There are “Huge Gaps” in Hillary Clinton’s Email Records
March 12, 2015: UPDATE: Fact Check: Holes in Hillary’s Email Story