House Sets New Clinton Email Hearings [AUDIO]

Getty Images

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
Font Size:

FBI Director James Comey, top State Department officials and — perhaps — Hillary Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal will soon testify on Capitol Hill about the former secretary of state’s email scandal.

“We will be holding hearings,” Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday.

Chaffetz said that Comey is slated to appear in front of the House Judiciary Committee next week. And Patrick Kennedy, the State Department career official who oversees day-to-day operations at the agency, will testify in front of the Oversight Committee this week.

“Thursday, a hearing with the undersecretary for management, Mr. Kennedy, who will come and testify along with a host of others about how did they snooker the American public for years in filling these FOIA requests and the media, and what are they going to do to clean it up,” Chaffetz said.

He slammed the State Department, asserting that officials “essentially lied to the media, the world, and the public” about Clinton’s emails.

“We want to know from the State Department how they misled the American public for so long,” Chaffetz continued.

In addition to Kennedy, Chaffetz’s committee extended invitations to three other State Department officials who handle Freedom of Information Act requests. Asked whether all of the officials will attend the hearing, a State Department official told The Daily Caller negotiations are being held with the Oversight Committee on the matter.

Chaffetz laid out a laundry list of topics that he and his fellow Republicans hope to discuss in the hearings. They want to know whether Clinton, her aides, and a company Clinton hired to handle her email system, violated a subpoena by deleting her emails.

Chaffetz sent letters on Tuesday to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. and to Platte River Networks, the company Clinton hired to handle her email system, inquiring about the potential destruction of records under subpoena.

The FBI’s Clinton email investigation report, which was released on Friday, showed that employees at Platte River Networks deleted backups of Clinton’s emails in March 2015, after Congress had subpoenaed Clinton’s records.

Platte River Networks, which Clinton hired in 2013 after leaving State, used software called BleachBit to erase the emails. Employees at Platte River had conference calls last March with members of both Hillary Clinton’s and Bill Clinton’s staff as well as with Hillary Clinton’s lawyers, the FBI report states.

“Were those documents…destroyed once there was a preservation order and a subpoena in place? It looks like the answer is yes,” Chaffetz told Hewitt.

The host also asked Chaffetz whether his committee plans to call Blumenthal as a witness.

“He might. He might. I mean, we still have a lot of moving parts here, and we’re trying to recover this,” the Republican said.

Blumenthal sent 25 classified emails to Clinton while she was in office. He sent more classified material to Clinton than any other private citizen. Blumenthal is a longtime friend of Clintons and has reportedly been advising her during the current presidential campaign.

Chaffetz said that he and his Republican colleagues plan to press Comey on why so much of the FBI’s report is redacted. Nearly 25 of the report’s 47 pages are redacted in full. The redacted portion is most likely endnotes for other items in the report.

Chaffetz, who is also a member of the Judiciary Committee, said Comey will be asked why all of the notes from witness interviews have not been released.

“They’re unclassified,” Chaffetz said.

The FBI only released notes from Clinton’s July 2 interview.

Comey appeared before the Oversight Committee on July 7, two days after he announced that he would not be recommending charges against Clinton for mishandling classified information.

This post has been updated with additional information from the State Department.


Follow Chuck on Twitter