Hillary Clinton might need to call her lawyer.
According to a Washington Post story published on Wednesday, a House of Representatives committee dedicated to investigating the 2012 terrorist attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya is “preparing to send out subpoenas later Wednesday” to examine Clinton’s use of a private email address when she was secretary of state.
Clinton’s emails have been the focus of a growing controversy since Monday when a New York Times report suggested her exclusive use of a personal email address while she was at the State Department may have violated federal regulations. The issue has cast a shadow on Clinton, who is widely expected to be preparing a 2016 presidential bid. Her team has insisted Clinton complied with the rules and took care to loop in government addresses whenever she conducted official business on the private account.
The Post report was attributed to “people familiar” with the Benghazi investigation. It said the House Select Committee on Benghazi would be sending the State Department subpoenas for all emails related to the attack from the domain Clinton used, clintonemail.com, and any staffers’ private accounts.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina), the chairman of the Benghazi committee, has previously sought to obtain Clinton’s emails related to the attacks. Clinton’s handling of the Benghazi attacks have long been criticised by Republicans.
Democrats have claimed Clinton agreed to testify before the committee last year, but Gowdy said he would wait to obtain the emails before calling her. The Post reported “one person familiar with deliberations” said the committee discovered Clinton was using the private address last summer. Gowdy’s office did not respond to multiple requests from Business Insider on Wednesday asking about potential subpoenas.
After the Times story was published, Gowdy told reporters that Clinton “used personal email in lieu of government email” and that she “had more than one private email account.” Because of this, Gowdy said the State Department “cannot certify that have produced all of former Secretary Clinton’s emails.”
“They do not have all of former Secretary Clinton’s emails nor do they control access to them,” Gowdy said.
Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton, said Gowdy was wrong about the former secretary using multiple private email addresses. In a statement sent to Business Insider on Wednesday, Merrill suggested Gowdy may have gotten a mistaken impression due to a technicality.
However, afterwards, the committee’s spokesman, Jamal Ware, issued a statement repeating Gowdy’s claim that Clinton had more than one private address.
“The Select Committee on Benghazi is in possession of records with two separate and distinct email addresses used by former Secretary Clinton and dated during the time she was Secretary of State,” Ware said.
Ware added the committee could not definitively say why it uncovered multiple addresses without obtaining information from Clinton’s email server.
“Without access to the relevant electronic information and stored data on the server — which was reportedly registered to her home — there is no way the Committee, or anyone else, can fully explain why the Committee uncovered two email addresses,” Ware said.
Ware concluded by with a statement that strongly implied the committee intends to investigate Clinton’s emails further.
“As Chairman Gowdy has noted, this is why former Secretary Clinton’s exclusive use of personal emails to conduct official U.S. government business is so problematic and raises significant issues for transparency,” Ware said. “The American people have a right to a full accounting of all the former Secretary’s emails, and the Committee is committed to working to uncover all the facts.”
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