Benghazi Committee Releases Letter on State Department Compliance Failure, Clinton
Washington, DC—Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy today sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry on the Department’s failure to produce responsive emails and records for top State officials more than a half-year after they were first requested.
“Secretary Clinton is insistent she will appear once and only once before the Select Committee,” said Gowdy, R-S.C. “The Committee must be equally insistent that her appearance is thorough and fully productive. This requires the record to be complete so the Members can effectively base their questions on documents and the Secretary can base her answers on those same documents.
“Since last fall, the Committee has consistently said it would talk to Secretary Clinton about Libya and Benghazi within 30 days of the public record being complete. To date, the State Department has not produced one single piece of paper responsive to the Committee's request for records from the former Secretary’s leadership team.”
Gowdy noted the Benghazi Committee originally requested all Libya- and Benghazi-related documents from the leadership team of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton back in November 2014. He also noted the Committee subpoenaed the same records in March 2015, but as of mid-May, State has failed to produce a single email.
“The pace of State Department document production has become an impediment to the progress of the Committee,” Gowdy said. “Secretary Kerry promised in previous House testimony swift action when it came to producing Department documents, now it is time for his Department to explain why they have failed to keep his word.”
Gowdy further pointed to the former Secretary’s claim she had emailed her staff in a bid to meet record keeping requirements as part of the unusual email arrangement she had with herself.
“The Committee needs these emails to have some sense of the completeness of Secretary Clinton’s self-selected public record and to formulate substantive questions for her on Benghazi,” Gowdy said. “I have no interest in prolonging the time before she appears before the Committee, but I do have an interest in assuring the Committee has access to all the facts.”
Gowdy pointed to the Committee’s record in its determined pursuit to build the most comprehensive account on Benghazi. That includes becoming the first congressional committee to gain access to State Department Accountability Review Board internal documents—two years after a House committee originally subpoenaed the documents; receipt of 15,000 pages of new Benghazi documents never before given to Congress; getting access to 25,000 pages of Benghazi documents with fewer redactions than when they were first given to Congress; and becoming the first and only congressional committee to uncover Secretary Clinton’s exclusive use of private emails to conduct official public business.
The letter to Secretary Kerry can be found at the link.