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RNC demands investigation into whether Clinton violated federal law by using private emails

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The Republican National Committee has asked for an investigation into whether former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton violated federal law by using a private, non-State Department email during her tenure.

RNC Chief Counsel John Phillippe asked State's Office of Inspector General to look into whether Clinton's practices led her or the department to violate the Federal Records Act, which requires officials to archive all emails deemed to be federal records. Phillippe also asked OIG to examine whether any regulations stemming from the law were violated.

The Republican National Committee has asked for an investigation into whether former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton violated federal records law by using private email while at State. Image: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

"The American public deserves to know whether one of its top-ranking public official's actions violated federal law," Phillippe wrote. "With transparency and openness in government being one of President Obama's guiding principles, it is incumbent upon your office to determine the facts surrounding this issue."

He also asked OIG to look at whether any internal State Department policies were violated, and asked several other questions that need to be answered. Those include questions about what State's official policy is regarding the use of personal email, whether Clinton's private email was encrypted to protect State Department information, and how State worked to archive Clinton's emails.

The email scandal surfaced after the House Select Committee on Benghazi sought information from Clinton about her knowledge of the 2012 Benghazi attack, and realized some of the emails they received were from Clinton's personal email account. Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has said State cannot say for certain whether it has all of Clinton's emails relevant to Benghazi.

On Wednesday, Gowdy's committee announced it has subpoenaed Clinton's emails, and has also sent subpoenas to State to uncover any additional information that might not have been handed over to the committee.

Late Wednesday night, Clinton tweeted that she wants her emails to be made public, and asked State to release them. But again, Gowdy's comments indicate that State may not be able to provide all the information that his committee is looking for.

Clinton has reportedly given State 55,000 pages of emails, but the RNC letter asked how State can confirm whether it has all the information it needs.

"What mechanisms exist to confirm that the 55,000 pages of emails given to the Department of State encapsulate all of Secretary Clinton's official correspondence?" the letter asked.

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