State Department Fails to Answer on New Clinton Emails
Washington, DC—Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy today announced the State Department has failed to produce copies, if it has any, of the 60 new emails on Benghazi and Libya from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that were recently uncovered by the committee. The department has requested an extension.
“This is a straightforward question—State Department either has them or they do not,” said Gowdy, R-S.C. “State should immediately produce to the committee emails that should have been produced months ago or explain why it is not in possession of these emails from Secretary Clinton. Either response has ramifications toward a full public record. This should be neither complicated nor time consuming.”
Gowdy pointed to the fact the committee still only has minimal compliance on a subpoena to State for the Benghazi and Libya-related communications of ten top staffers for former Secretary Clinton. The 1200 pages produced to date represents less than a quarter of the narrowed request for one aide’s emails and none of requested communications for the nine other aides. The Select Committee originally requested these communications in November of last year, and then sent a subpoena in March.
“Every request to State is met with delay, a request for extension and pleading to narrow the scope,” Gowdy said. “The reality is the State Department under both Secretaries Kerry and Clinton has failed in its obligation to provide transparency for the American people and congressional investigators. This is a significant issue with negative impacts for those who believe our government should be open and responsive to the people.”
Gowdy noted several Freedom of Information lawsuits involving State were revived due to the Benghazi Committee’s discovery of Clinton’s unusual email arrangement with herself. A federal judge in one of those cases ordered State to begin monthly rolling releases of the self-selected records Clinton turned over after the department said it would be 2016 before it could produce documents. State’s revelation completely undermines attacks by some that the committee is attempting to drag out the investigation.
“The Democrats on the committee could help speed the process if they would stop providing cover and join the majority in demanding State step-up production,” Gowdy said. “In the end, if President Obama and Secretary Kerry want to fulfill the President’s pledge of the most transparent administration in history, they will ensure the Executive Branch complies with the Select Committee’s outstanding requests.”
Gowdy went on to cite State’s own recent court filing, which stated the department had scanned and captured all of Clinton's emails in a searchable database that would be online by mid-June. He said the committee identified the specific documents for which it was looking to help streamline the process and make it easy for State to confirm if it has the documents.