The House Select Committee on Benghazi announced Wednesday it has sent subpoenas to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department in an effort to find all outstanding emails related to the 2012 attack in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.
"The Select Committee on Benghazi today issued subpoenas for all communications of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton related to Libya and to the State Department for other individuals who have information pertinent to the investigation," committee spokesman Jamal Ware said. "The committee also has issued preservation letters to internet firms informing them of their legal obligation to protect all relevant documents."
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who chairs the House Select Committee on Benghazi, issued subpoenas Wednesday for Hillary Clinton's personal emails dealing with the 2012 Benghazi attack. Image: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) indicated Tuesday that subpoenas might be coming, after it became clear that Clinton only used personal email while serving as secretary of State, and the State Department admitted it did not know if it had all of her emails. Gowdy said that meant his committee would have to press Clinton herself to turn in whatever Benghazi-related emails she might have failed to turn over to State, as well as Internet service providers that might also have access to those emails.
"[T]he committee is going to have to go to her, her lawyers and her email providers to ensure we have access to everything the American people are entitled to know," he said Tuesday. The separate subpoenas to the State Department indicate the committee believes information from other individuals is still not in the committee's hands.
Clinton and the Obama administration have come under heavy fire for allowing Clinton use not just her own personal email, but her own private server. Aside from the lack of transparency, concerns have been raised that there are no guarantees Clinton's private computer system was safe from hackers who could have obtained sensitive information from her email account.
It's also an issue that seems likely to play into the 2016 presidential race, if Clinton decides to run. Many commentators have said the scandal is the latest example of how the Clintons don't feel like the rules apply to them.
Gowdy has said his committee's request for Clinton's emails is what brought her personal email system to light. But the State Department has disputed that, and said it was known in 2013 that Clinton was using her own system.
But the White House seemed to dispute that claim on Wednesday, by saying the White House doesn't know if anyone knew Clinton was not using an official State Department email.
The State Department has also refuted Gowdy's claim that Clinton was using two personal email addresses. "There was just one email account," State Department Marie Harf said Wednesday.
So far, Gowdy's committee has received about 300 emails from Clinton's personal account, but Gowdy has said he has no idea how many other emails might be out there.
Gowdy has said several times that he wants Clinton to testify before his committee, but not until he knows the committee has all the information it can get from her.