The South Carolina Republican in charge of the House investigation on Benghazi says that he has “lost confidence” in the State Department to help fill “huge gaps” in Hillary Clinton’s emails.
The investigator, U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday to discuss Clinton’s exclusive use of private email to conduct official government business.
“There are gaps of months and months and months,” Gowdy told CBS’s Bob Schieffer of Clinton’s records.
In December, Clinton gave the agency 55,000 pages of emails she says she sent or received during her four years in office. The State Department turned 300 of those emails over to Gowdy’s committee.
Gowdy cited one glaring example of a suspicious gap in Clinton’s records is Oct. 18, 2011, trip to Libya. Clinton was photographed on that day wearing black sunglasses while using her Blackberry device.
“We have no emails from that day. In fact we have no emails from that trip,” Gowdy said.
“It strains credibility to believe that if you’re on your way to Libya to discuss Libyan policy that there’s not a single document that’s been turned over to Congress.”
Gowdy also took issue with a statement President Obama made on Saturday in his first public remarks about the email scandal.
“I’m glad that Hillary has instructed that those emails that had to do with official business have to be disclosed,” Obama said in an interview.
Gowdy told Schieffer that “with respect to the president, it’s not up to Secretary Clinton to decide what’s a public record and what’s not.”
“Frankly, I’ve lost confidence in the State Department to make that determination. They’re the ones who allowed this arrangement. They’re the ones who did nothing about this arrangement until they got a request from our committee.”
Not only did Clinton use a private email account to conduct all official business, she also set up a “homebrew” server system which was registered to her Chappaqua, N.Y. residence.
While Clinton’s handlers, the State Department and the White House have all asserted that Clinton did more than enough by turning over 55,000 pages of her email records, they have so far avoided answering how the public and the Benghazi committee can be certain that Clinton has turned over all of the records.
Emails sent from federal officials’ private accounts are considered official records if they pertain to government business. Officials are required to turn those records over to their agencies so that they may comply with public records requests.
None of the numerous public records requests filed for Clinton’s emails or for information on other email accounts was turned over by the State Department.
The State Department has said that Clinton’s aides, and not the agency, sifted through her private emails and determined what to turn over.
A number of State Department officials knew that Clinton was using a personal email account to send and receive emails, yet nothing was done about it. Obama said in his interview on Saturday that he only first learned of Clinton’s email practices when The New York Times broke the story on Monday.