The State Department has informed the House Committee on Benghazi that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton failed to turn over all of her records related to Benghazi and Libya. That’s according to a statement today from Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina.
The news contradicts claims from the Clinton camp which said all relevant emails had, in fact, been handed over.
“This confirms doubts about the completeness of Clinton’s self-selected public record and raises serious questions about her decision to erase her personal server—especially before it could be analyzed by an independent, neutral third party arbiter,” said Gowdy in a statement.
The New York Times was first to reveal that Clinton made controversial use of a private server while she was serving as secretary of state. When the unusual arrangement was discovered, Clinton said she sifted through all the emails from her private server and turned over all of the relevant ones to the State Department. She acknowledged destroying tens of thousands of other emails that she says were private in nature, and she acknowledged wiping her server clean.
Earlier this month, prior to testifying behind closed doors, Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal turned over additional email exchanges between himself and Clinton. The exchanges had not been previously produced to the Committee despite multiple requests and a subpoena. Additionally, the material was not produced as required by law in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, including one I made in 2012.
“This has implications far beyond Libya, Benghazi and our committee’s work. This conclusively shows her email arrangement with herself, which was then vetted by her own lawyers, has resulted in an incomplete public record,” said Gowdy today.
Clinton’s critics say the email exchanges with Blumenthal show that she was receiving and soliciting unvetted intelligence about Libya from Blumenthal, a source with a financial business interest in the country.
Clinton had previously stated that the messages from Blumenthal were unsolicited.
While the State Department says Clinton did not turn over all relevant emails, the agency did give the Committee a new set of Clinton emails that were responsive to subpoena but were not previously provided. The Committee did not disclose the content of the emails.
Clinton has insisted she did nothing wrong and that she complied with the letter and spirit of record retention laws. She says she previously gave the State Department all relevant emails, and that she did not destroy any materials except those which were entirely private in nature.