The Republican chairmen of the House Oversight and House Judiciary Committees laid out the case for perjury charges against Hillary Clinton in a letter sent to the U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C. on Monday.
Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chairs of Oversight and Judiciary, respectively, say that Clinton may have violated 18 U.S.C. § 1621 and § 1001, federal laws which govern perjury and false statements, respectively, during her Oct. 22, 2015 testimony in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
In a letter to U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips, the lawmakers point to four inconsistent statements Clinton made regarding her private email system during that hearing.
Clinton gave false testimony when she said she did not send or receive emails that were marked classified at the time they were originated, when she claimed that her attorneys reviewed all of the emails on her personal email system, when she said that she only operated one server, and when she claimed that she provided all of her work-related emails to the State Department, Chaffetz and Goodlatte argue.
FBI director James Comey undermined those Clinton claims, and others, during two public appearances early last month. While Comey announced on July 5 that the FBI would not seek charges against Clinton for mishandling classified information, he called her use of a private email server “extremely careless.”
In a hearing in front of Chaffetz’s Oversight Committee two days later, Comey said that Clinton did not lie during her July 2 interrogation with FBI and Justice Department investigators.
But he said he was unable to ascertain whether Clinton perjured herself during the Benghazi hearing. He said that Clinton’s testimony then was not central to their investigation but that he would welcome a referral from Congress to look into the matter further.
“Although there may be other aspects of Secretary Clinton’s sworn testimony that are at odds with the FBI’s findings, her testimony in those four areas bears specific scrutiny in light of the facts and evidence FBI Director James Comey described in his public statement on July 5, 2016 and in testimony before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on July 7, 2016,” reads the Chaffetz/Goodlatte letter.
The letter comes two weeks after Justice Department attorney Peter Kadzik wrote to Chaffetz and Goodlatte that the agency would look into Clinton’s inconsistent statements to Congress and “take appropriate action as necessary.”