- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2015

A key Republican senator is questioning whether Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s nominee to be attorney general, will vigorously pursue the investigation into Hillary Rodham Clinton for reportedly using her personal email while she was secretary of state to “shield and destroy” department records.

“As a federal attorney, it is your responsibility to uphold our laws,” Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to Ms. Lynch in a letter Thursday. “If you are confirmed as Attorney General Eric Holder’s replacement, will you commit to a vigorous and transparent investigation of the allegations that Clinton used her personal email account and server to shield politically-sensitive material from FOIA requests?”

Mrs. Clinton relied on a private email account and server in her New York house to conduct official business during her time at the State Department and then proceeded to delete some of them, a potential violation of federal record-keeping laws, Mr. Vitter said.

Keeping a private server allowed Mrs. Clinton — and four of her top aides who were also given email addresses from her private server — to skirt Freedom of Information Act disclosure requests. Furthermore, a House special investigative committee, which wanted access to Mrs. Clinton’s server, revealed last week that Mrs. Clinton had the device wiped clean.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican who chairs the special investigative panel, said Mrs. Clinton’s response to the committee’s subpoena was to retransmit several hundred pages of emails that the State Department had already turned over.

“If true, these allegations constitute a shocking violation of federal law and substantially undermine the American public’s faith in the integrity of the federal government,” Mr. Vitter wrote in his letter to Ms. Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York nominated by President Obama late last year.

Mr. Vitter has already said he will vote against Ms. Lynch’s confirmation as the next attorney general, citing her support for Mr. Obama’s executive action to extend amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants. In February Mr. Vitter voted against Ms. Lynch’s nomination in committee. Despite White House pleas for a vote, her appointment is still awaiting a full Senate vote.

Meanwhile, Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn publicly pressed the State Department’s inspector general to do a thorough investigation into why Mrs. Clinton was allowed to use a private server for her communications while serving as the nation’s top diplomat.

The Senate’s No. 2 Republican sent a letter to Steve Linick, the State Department’s top watchdog, on Thursday saying Mrs. Clinton’s “recent admission that she used a private email account to conduct her email correspondence as Secretary of State raises serious concerns for Americans who believe in open government and the accountability of our highest officials.”

Mr. Linick has already begun an investigation into the matter.

Mr. Cornyn said he was “pleased” the inspector general had decided to pursue the matter and urged him “to give the events surrounding Secretary Clinton’s private email account the scrutiny they deserve.”

Allegations that Mrs. Clinton deleted emails from her server, which she used to conduct official business, come just as she is considering launching a presidential campaign in 2016. She enjoys a huge lead in polls for the Democratic nomination.

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