Gowdy fact-checks Hillary’s email defense

Gowdy fact-checks Hillary’s email defense

Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, debunked several claims Hillary Clinton made in defense of her private email server Tuesday during her first televised interview.

“For more than two years, Clinton never availed herself of the opportunity, even in response to a direct congressional inquiry, to inform the public of her unusual email arrangement designed to evade public transparency,” the South Carolina Republican said.

Clinton told CNN she had broken no laws by housing all of her personal and official emails on the same private server, which she reportedly constructed and maintained herself.

“Everything I did was permitted. There was no law. There was no regulation. There was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate,” the former secretary of state said Tuesday.

She continued to defend her email practices by claiming she initiated the controversial arrangement so she could use one electronic device for convenience, an assertion that has been proven false.

Clinton also denied she had deleted 33,000 emails while under subpoena after her interviewer, CNN’s Brianna Keilar, asked about her decision to scrub the records.

“You know, you’re starting with so many assumptions that are — I’ve never had a subpoena. There is — again, let’s take a deep breath here. Everything I did was permitted by law and regulation,” Clinton argued in response to Keilar’s prodding.

But Gowdy claimed his committee had indeed subpoenaed the former secretary.

“Secretary Clinton had a statutory duty to preserve records from her time in office,” Gowdy said. “She had a legal duty to cooperate and tell the truth with congressional investigators requesting her records, and she was personally subpoenaed the moment the Benghazi committee became aware of her exclusive use of personal email and a server, and that the State Department was not the custodian of her official record.”

The select committee was the first investigative body to uncover Clinton’s use of a private server while secretary of state. Congressional investigators on that committee were also the first to reveal her extensive reliance on Sidney Blumenthal, a former aide who had been banned from working at the State Department.

Blumenthal provided Clinton with unvetted intelligence in Libya and political developments around the world, although she defended her relationship with him by claiming he merely sent her “unsolicited” advice on international affairs.

The State Department admitted Clinton had withheld work-related emails after Blumenthal gave Congress dozens of records that Clinton never submitted to the agency.

“It was Benghazi Committee inquiries that led the State Department to confirm Clinton failed to turn over all emails that should be part of her public record; that Clinton’s personal emails and server in fact do contain classified information; that her emails from Sidney Blumenthal were solicited; and that she used more than one device for electronic communication, undercutting her ‘convenience’ claim,” Gowdy noted. “With regards to Secretary Clinton’s claims today, the committee does not know why or when she chose to wipe clean her personal server, but we do know her way of doing things provided an incomplete public record.”


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