Tags: Hillary Clinton | GOP | reaction | Hillary clinton | explanation | emails | private

GOP Slams Clinton's Email Comments and 'History of Misleading' Americans

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Mar 2015 08:14 PM

Republicans Tuesday attacked Hillary Clinton's first public comments on her use of private email as secretary of state, saying that her refusal to make her server available for public scrutiny smacked of hypocrisy amid previous claims about transparency and raised serious questions about her judgment.

"The expectation that we merely trust that Secretary Clinton shared all relevant emails and that the process of vetting the emails was as thorough and unbiased as it should have been is insulting given the Clintons’ well-established history of misleading the American people," said California Rep. Darrell Issa.

"This matter cannot be put to rest without a thorough forensic examination of the email server and an unbiased independent review of the records in question."

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House select committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks, said the panel will now subpoena the former first lady for two rounds of testimony.

"Having finally heard from Secretary Clinton about her exclusive use of personal email with which to conduct official business while serving as Secretary of State, regrettably we are left with more questions than answers," Gowdy said. "Because Secretary Clinton has created more questions than answers, the select committee is left with no choice but to call her to appear at least twice."

Republican strategist Brad Blakeman described the remarks to Newsmax as "typical Clinton: avoid questions, parsed words.

"Conveniently, all the 'personal' emails that she deemed personal have been deleted — and she will not give the government access to her server.

"This is the Clintons bunkering down — and now, she'll send her attack dogs out … to try to blame this on Republicans," Blakeman said.

In a session with reporters after speaking to the United Nations, Clinton admitted that she should have used a government email account during her four years as the nation's top diplomat, as well as a separate mobile device for her personal emails.

Clinton, the presumed Democratic candidate for the White House in 2016, said that most of her correspondence went to employees using government addresses — and those were automatically preserved.

She added that she provided the State Department with all of her emails that could possibly be work related for archiving purposes.

"I saw it as a matter of convenience," Clinton said at a news conference that came more than a week after The New York Times first disclosed her use of the private account for official business. "I now, looking back, think that it might have been smarter to have those two devices from the very beginning."

Clinton has been under fire for the private email use and the server on which the account was stored that she kept at the family compound in Chappaqua, New York.

Republicans and Internet experts have raised security concerns and have attacked Clinton for possibly shielding important facts about her tenure from the public. Democrats are also wary that the party's likely presidential front-runner could be tarnished.

Clinton took nine questions from reporters — and she appeared to contradict herself over the personal emails.

She said in her opening statement that "I chose not to keep my private, personal emails," adding that "no one wants their personal emails made public."

But when questioned further, Clinton admitted that the private server "contains personal communications from my husband and me" and that "the server will remain private.

"I feel that I have taken unprecedented steps to provide these work-related emails," she said. "They're going to be in the public domain."

Mike Rogers, the former GOP chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said that the decision whether the server remained private might not rest solely with Clinton.

"I'm not sure if she'll have that choice," he told Wolf Blitzer on CNN. "That will be the subject of probably a subpoena in the very near future.

"I think that's good for her," Rogers added. "I would think she would want to have a third party review that server and put that to bed."

Some Democrats supported Clinton's move to address reporters, but said the comments still raised concerns.

"I think she handled it well, but I do have to question: I have two email accounts and I only have one device," said Gabor Garai, a Democratic donor who is a lawyer in Boston. He raised about $50,000 for President Barack Obama in 2012.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill said she believed the email fiasco will subside.

"I think when it’s all settled out, the American people realize this is a very anxious Republican Party," McCaskill told The Hill before the news conference.

"She’s going to take a lot of incoming over the next 18 months," McCaskill added. "But she’s strong enough and tough enough to handle it."

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings and four other Democrats on the Benghazi committee asked the State Department on Tuesday to release 850 pages of the emails Clinton turned over last year, Politico reports.

"Since the department has already produced approximately 850 pages of these documents to the Select Committee on Benghazi, we request that the department begin its review for public release with this subset of 850 pages of Benghazi-related documents in order to make them available to the public first without waiting for the full review of all 55,000 pages of documents," the Democrats wrote in a letter to the agency.

Other Republicans were not placated by Clinton's comments.

"Secretary Clinton would certainly like this matter to go away because it would be the most convenient scenario for her," said Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. "Today’s press conference does not bring closure to this matter."

He added that his panel "will continue looking into this matter to ensure that all records were properly preserved in accordance with the law.”

Idaho Sen. James Risch, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, slapped back Clinton's notion of using only one device for official and private communications.

"She talked about convenience," he also told Blitzer. "All of us carry at least two cell phones, at least two communication devices. That really isn't much of an excuse.

"If there's one thing you can predict about a Hillary Clinton issue, it will go on for a long time," Risch added. "Whitewater did. Benghazi did."

Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, noted that the Benghazi committee had subpoenaed Clinton's emails last year. The panel received about 55,000 documents from the State Department.

"Secretary Clinton didn’t hand over her emails out of the goodness of her heart," Steel said. "She was forced to by smart, determined, and effective oversight. … The American people deserve the truth."

Regarding Clinton's subpoena from the Benghazi committee, Gowdy said that "the first appearance will be to clear up her role and resolve issues surrounding her exclusive use of personal email to conduct official business.

"This is necessary to establish that our committee has a complete record with respect to Secretary Clinton’s time in office," he said. "Our committee will then call her to appear … in a public hearing to answer questions specifically regarding Libya and the Benghazi terrorist attacks that took the lives of our four brave fellow citizens."

The assaults, on Sept. 11, 2012, killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, including two former Navy SEALs.

"There's a difference between being cooperative and being truthful," Gowdy later told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News, adding that the State Department had been cooperating with the select committee "up to a point."

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also called for oversight regarding Clinton's emails.

"Anything short of Hillary Clinton releasing her secret server to an independent arbiter would demonstrate that she’s not interested in being transparent with the American people," he said.

Blakeman told Newsmax that the debacle raised questions about Clinton's judgment.

"Not only to her judgment as secretary of state at the time, but her judgment as a would-be president: the fact that she exercised such poor judgment and control.

"This disqualifies her as a viable candidate," Blakeman said. "The problem for Democrats is that they've put all their eggs in one basket with her — and right now, that's all they've got."

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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Republicans Tuesday attacked Hillary Clinton's first public comments on her use of private email as secretary of state, saying her refusal to make her server available for public scrutiny smacked of hypocrisy amid previous claims about transparency and raised serious concerns.
GOP, reaction, Hillary clinton, explanation, emails, private, server, Trey Gowdy, Reince Priebus, Democrats
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2015-14-10
Tuesday, 10 Mar 2015 08:14 PM
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