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Trey Gowdy: Benghazi Committee Lacks Authority To Subpoena Hillary’s Private Server

Following Hillary Clinton's decision to delete all of the emails on her private server, after they had been subpoenaed by the House Benghazi Committee, the Committee's chairman said he does not have the authority to issue a subpoena for Clinton's server.

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On Wednesday, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said that while the House has the authority to subpoena Hillary Clinton’s private server, his committee has a “more limited jurisdiction.”

In an interview with conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, Gowdy explained that although the Benghazi Committee lacks the authority under House rules, “most experts believe” that the House as an entity could issue a subpoena for the server.

I would think if you’re interested in national security breaches, and also the completeness of the public record, that you would want a neutral, detached arbiter as opposed to her own lawyer,” Gowdy said. “The lawyer’s obligation is to the client. I want someone with an obligation to my fellow citizens to say the public record is complete. I can’t just take her lawyer’s word for it.

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Clinton’s personal email on a private server, which she used to conduct government business during her tenure as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, was revealed in a report from the New York Times on March 2.

The Committee issued subpoenas on March 4, for all emails related to the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, from both Clinton and her staff members’ personal accounts.

On March 27, Gowdy released a statement revealing that Clinton deleted all of her emails, and wiped her server clean. Gowdy explained that while it is not clear exactly when Clinton chose to delete the emails, he believes it was after the State Department first requested that she make her emails public in October 2014.

On March 31, the Benghazi Committee formally requested a transcribed interview with Clinton. The interview would include questions over Clinton’s use of private email for government business, along with questions on why Clinton chose to delete all of the emails on her server, after she was aware that they had been subpoenaed by the Committee.

While Gowdy’s request said that the Committee was willing to schedule the interview at a time that was convenient for Clinton, it gave a deadline of May 1.

Politico reported that a spokesperson for the Committee said that Clinton has yet to answer the request for either the interview about the emails, or a public hearing on the 2012 attack in Benghazi.

Gowdy told Hewitt that including Clinton, he plans to interview several others, regarding the Benghazi attack, such as former  CIA deputy director Michael Morell, Clinton’s chief-of-staff Cheryl Mills and Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin. The interview list will also include Sidney Blumenthal, who according to Politico, is a “longtime confidant of the Clintons whose hacked emails to Hillary Clinton first revealed the existence of her private account.”

On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that it obtained letters, which revealed that congressional investigators wrote to Clinton in Dec. 2012, asking about her use of private email for government business.

The Times noted that it was not until March 2013, two months after Clinton left office, that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the author of the letter, received an answer from the State Department, which “ignored the question and provided no response.”

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