Rep. Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican, is chairing a committee investigating the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, and probing Hillary Clinton’s exclusive use of a personal email account during her tenure as Secretary of State.
Clinton has refused to allow access to her server by a neutral examiner for an independent determination of whether she may be illegally hiding information from the government and American public.
Hillary Clinton has not released 31,830 of her emails, which she has characterized “personal” and “private.”
Speaking to Fox News, Rep. Gowdy said there are huge gaps in the email trail, especially around the time of the Benghazi tragedy in September, 2012. “There are no emails for weeks and weeks on either side of that trip (to Libya), including the trip itself,” Gowdy said.
Gowdy asked for the server to be turned over to the State Department inspector general, to act as an independent third party, to keep the matter between the committee and Ms. Clinton with no public scrutiny. At a later date, those records will also be provided for public viewing.
Gowdy issued a statement which read, “Though Secretary Clinton alone is responsible for causing this issue; she alone does not get to determine its outcome.” He says it is “in the interest of transparency for the American people.”
The former secretary of state is considering her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination next year.
Hillary Clinton said all her work-related email would be made public, but admits deleting thousands of messages she said were personal matters. She also said the server “will remain private.”
It is yet to be determined whether she will be allowed to determine what it private and what is public.
That is a question to be answered in the near future as to whether she can pick and choose what is submitted. Knowing the tenaciousness of former prosecutor Gowdy, that is highly unlikely.
John Boehner, Speaker of the House has already foreshadowed a vote in the full House to force Clinton to turn over the server if she declines to make it available voluntarily. Hillary Clinton who has many attorneys working on her behalf, has not responded to the Boehner.
As expected, the Justice Department said the Freedom of Information Act could not be used to force private emails to be divulged.
The battle for the server has only just started. Standard procedure for the Clintons is “stall and wait,” a strategy that was worked for them in the past. The Clintons may be stubborn, but Gowdy is a dogged former prosecutor, and he will not sit idly by, allowing Ms. Clinton to stonewall Congress.
The case of the missing emails and the persistence of Trey Gowdy may be the two biggest obstacles to Hillary Clinton’s Presidential aspirations.