Unless Hillary Clinton “went to extreme lengths” to wipe her private server clean, her email records should be recoverable, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said Saturday.
But if the former secretary of state did take extraordinary measures to ensure her official emails were scrubbed off the server, that would make her worse than Richard Nixon in at least one regard.
“Even Nixon didn’t destroy the tapes,” said Priebus, referencing recordings the former president kept of conversations he had in the White House between 1971 and 1973. The tapes were made available to Watergate investigators and later made public.
On Friday, Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican leading the House Select Committee’s investigation into Benghazi, announced that Clinton acted “unilaterally” and “wiped clean” her private server.
Gowdy had subpoenaed Clinton’s server but her attorney told the committee that it contained no records. The attorney also said that there are no back-up copies of Clinton’s emails. Gowdy said that Clinton scrubbed the server after the State Department asked for her email records in late October. She turned over 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department in December. Approximately 300 of those emails were given to the Benghazi committee. Clinton has said that she turned over all of her official government emails but has not agreed to outside inspection. (RELATED: Trey Gowdy: Hillary’s Server Was Recently ‘Wiped Clean’)
Gowdy did not state whether Clinton’s attorney indicated why the former first lady waited nearly a month after the story broke about her exclusive use of a private email account and the private server to inform the public that the device had been scrubbed.
“It’s imperative an independent third party review the server immediately,” Priebus said Saturday. “Unless Mrs. Clinton went to extreme lengths to wipe this server, there are ways to recover this data.”
“Unfortunately it appears Clinton went above and beyond to eliminate email traffic as Secretary of State. There isn’t a separate set of rules the Clintons can choose to play by. It’s time they be held accountable.”