- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 23, 2015

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that the full House may have to vote to subpoena former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email server, as the chairman of the Benghazi investigative committee officially called on her to testify twice to his panel.

The invitation by Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican and chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, sets up a test for Mrs. Clinton, the former first lady and newly announced Democratic presidential candidate, whose attorney has said she wants to appear before the committee only once, in public.

“With her cooperation and that of the State Department and administration, Secretary Clinton could be done with the Benghazi Committee before the Fourth of July,” Mr. Gowdy said. “We appreciate Secretary Clinton’s willingness to cooperate so the committee can move as expeditiously as possible to conclude the investigation.”

Mr. Gowdy has asked Mrs. Clinton to appear once for a private transcribed interview on her email practices, and then to come before the committee for an open hearing on the events of Sept. 11, 2012, when the diplomatic post in Benghazi came under attack by terrorists, leaving four Americans dead.

The email use and the Benghazi events have become intertwined after Mrs. Clinton acknowledged that she refused a department-issued account and instead set up her own server and account to conduct her official business, after Mr. Gowdy demanded to see her emails concerning the attack.



That sent the Obama administration scrambling, and Mrs. Clinton was asked belatedly to comply with the law and turn over her communications. Nearly two years after she left office, she turned over about 30,000 emails she deemed government business, announced she had deleted another 32,000 that were private, and then wiped her server clean.

Mr. Gowdy asked Mrs. Clinton to turn over the server to a neutral third party, but she declined. Mr. Gowdy said his committee probably lacks the ability to subpoena the server, but the whole House could — and Mr. Boehner hinted that “all options are on the table.”

“If we need to do that, we may have to,” he said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “It’s important for the American people to know the truth about what happened in Benghazi, and it’s important to know what was going on [at] the State Department before, during and after the events that occurred in Libya.”

Mr. Boehner said Mrs. Clinton “violated the law” in setting up a private email system to conduct official business and that it “goes against every transparency issue that the president likes to tout.”

“At some point, they just can’t ignore the fact that there are a lot of public documents on [the] server that the American people have a right to see,” Mr. Boehner said, calling on Mrs. Clinton to turn over the server to the State Department’s inspector general.

The Benghazi committee this week signaled that its inquiry could stretch into next year, right in the heart of the presidential campaign. The committee said it has had trouble getting cooperation from the administration.

Mrs. Clinton’s attorney David E. Kendall has said she answered questions about her email use in a public press conference last month and that she is willing and even eager to appear for a single public hearing to handle any questions the committee wants to pose.

Mrs. Clinton’s camp didn’t respond to questions Thursday about Mr. Gowdy’s official invitation, but Democrats on the committee said it was Republicans who were holding up the process.

“The Republicans’ multiyear search for evidence to back up their Benghazi conspiracy theories has turned up nothing,” said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Maryland Democrat and ranking member on the committee.

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