In an attempt to remove the politics over her email server controversy the House Select Committee on Benghazi, formally requested that Hillary Clinton turn over to a third party her personal email server linked to the personal email address she used for official business while at the State Department.
“Though Secretary Clinton alone is responsible for causing this issue, she alone does not get to determine its outcome,” Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said in a statement.
“That is why in the interest of transparency for the American people, I am formally requesting she turn the server over to the State Department’s inspector general or a mutually agreeable third party.”
Gowdy sent the request in a letter to Clinton’s attorney in the hopes that an investigation could recover about 30,000 emails that her team deleted before turning the rest over to the State Department.
Clinton told reporters those emails were strictly personal in nature, but Gowdy and other Republicans have raised questions over whether she could have deleted politically damaging official emails in the process.
She’s resisted turning over her server so far and has asserted that releasing all of her official emails publicly shows she is committed to transparency.
“I have absolute confidence that everything that could be in any way connected to work is now in the possession of the State Department,” she said during a press conference earlier this month.
“I went above and beyond what I was requested to do.”
The letter also details the way the committee discovered Clinton’s use of a private email address while at the State Department. The agency turned over about 15,000 emails relating to the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi last August, which included a number of references to Clinton’s private email address.
The State Department first informed the committee that she used the address for all official communications during a meeting in late February, just three days before The New York Times made that information public.
“The equity in these emails extend beyond this Committee,” Gowdy writes in the letter.
“The House of Representatives and the American people are entitled to a complete accounting of the Secretary’s official record during her time as Secretary of State.”
He also stressed that the committee has no intent to view any of Clinton’s emails that are deemed private by an outside party.
Democrats, though, were quick to blast Gowdy’s request.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the Benghazi committee and the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, said none of the emails already in the committee’s possession implicate Clinton in any Benghazi-related “conspiracy theories.” He added that a high government official has never been asked “to surrender an email server.”
“The only reason to depart from that practice here, is because Secretary Clinton may run for President,” he said in a statement.
“The GOP members of the Select Committee may think this is good presidential politics, but it is a terrible abuse of a tax-payer funded committee that was supposed to investigate a tragedy in Benghazi.”
Gowdy has previously called for Clinton to turn over the server, but this marks the first formal request from his committee. It also comes on the heels of news that Gowdy and the committee subpoenaed a number of former State Department officials who served under Clinton.
He revealed those subpoenas to Reuters in a phone interview Thursday and said that the information is necessary for his investigation into the 2012 attacks on the U.S. compound in Benghazi.