Hillary Clinton’s email server has been “wiped clean,” and she has not turned over any new documents in response to a subpoena from the House Select Committee on Benghazi, committee chairman Trey Gowdy said Friday.
“After seeking and receiving a two week extension from the Committee, Secretary Clinton failed to provide a single new document to the subpoena issued by the Committee and refused to provide her private server to the Inspector General for the State Department or any other independent arbiter for analysis,” Gowdy said in the statement.
It was only in December that Clinton turned over 55,000 emails from her private account — HDR22@clintonemail.com — to the State Department. Of those, the agency turned 300 emails related to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Clinton claims that she turned over all emails from her private account related to official government business. But she has not agreed to allow a third-party to verify that claim. As Gowdy indicated in his statement, the former secretary of state also did not comply with the committee’s request to turn over her private server, which was registered to her residence in Chappaqua, N.Y., to a third party for analysis.
“We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server,” Gowdy said.
“While it is not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department.”
Clinton, through her handlers, and the State Department initially insisted that Clinton turned those emails over in response to the agency’s request as part of a records-management overhaul. The implication was that Clinton relinquished those emails only in response to that request. But it was later revealed by The New York Times that officials at the State Department had been in talks with Clinton’s attorneys as early as August concerning the emails.
“Not only was the secretary the sole arbiter of what was a public record, she also summarily decided to delete all emails from her server ensuring no one could check behind her analysis in the public interest,” Gowdy said Friday.
Clinton has insisted that she did not send or receive classified documents on that email account. Had she done so, she would be in violation of federal law.
Gowdy also said that in light of Clinton’s “unprecedented email arrangement with herself and her decision nearly two years after she left office to permanently delete all emails,” the Benghazi committee will begin working with House leadership to consider “next steps.”
Gowdy has said that he plans to call Clinton to testify before the committee at least twice.
Clinton’s use of a private email account flouted federal regulations which require government employees to archive their official records. By refusing to do so, Clinton avoided having those emails turned over in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.