Hillary Clinton wiped her email server "clean," permanently deleting all emails from it, the chairman of a House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, said Friday.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, said the former secretary of state has failed to produce a single new document in recent weeks and has refused to relinquish her server to a third party for an independent review, as Gowdy has requested.
Clinton's attorney, David Kendall, said Gowdy was looking in the wrong place. Instead of asking Clinton for the emails, Gowdy should look to the State Department, which is "uniquely positioned to make available any documents responsive to your requests," Kendall said.
In a six-page letter released late Friday, Kendall said Clinton had turned over to the State Department all work-related emails sent or received during her tenure as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.
"The Department of State is therefore in possession of all Secretary Clinton's work-related emails from the [personal email] account," Kendall wrote.
Clinton, a likely Democratic presidential candidate, faced a Friday deadline to respond to a subpoena for emails and documents related to Libya.
The Benghazi committee demanded further documents and access to the server after it was revealed that Clinton used a private email account and server during her tenure at State.
Gowdy said he would work with House leaders to consider options. Speaker John Boehner has not ruled out a vote in the full House to force Clinton to turn over the server if she declines to make it available.
Here is what the committee's statement said:
"After seeking and receiving a two-week extension from the Committee, Secretary Clinton failed to provide a single new document to the subpoena issued by the Committee and refused to provide her private server to the Inspector General for the State Department or any other independent arbiter for analysis.
"We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server. While it is not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department.
"Not only was the Secretary the sole arbiter of what was a public record, she also summarily decided to delete all emails from her server, ensuring no one could check behind her analysis in the public interest.
"In light of the Secretary's unprecedented email arrangement with herself and her decision nearly two years after she left office to permanently delete all emails and because the equities at stake involve not only those of the Select Committee and Congress more broadly, but also those of the American people and their right to the full record of her tenure as secretary of State, we will work with the leadership of the House of Representatives as the Committee considers next steps.
"But it is clear Congress will need to speak with the former Secretary about her email arrangement and the decision to permanently delete those emails."
The Benghazi committee's top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, said the letter from Clinton's attorney "confirms what we all knew."
That was, he said, "that Secretary Clinton already produced her official records to the State Department, that she did not keep her personal emails, and that the Select Committee has already obtained her emails relating to the attacks in Benghazi."
"It is time for the committee to stop this political charade and instead make these documents public and schedule Secretary Clinton's public testimony now," Cummings said.
He said the continued GOP demands for Clinton to turn over her server "contradicted the investigative standard" for when a Democratic House oversight panel investigated several officials in the George W. Bush White House regarding official emails sent from accounts of the Republican National Committee.
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