Friday's disclosure by the Republican chairman of the House committee investigating the Benghazi attacks that Hillary Clinton deleted all of her emails when she "wiped clean" her private email server struck Washington lawyer Cleta Mitchell as "breathtaking."
"If she were anybody else, they'd be investigating her for obstruction of justice," Mitchell, who represented several conservative groups in the IRS targeting scandal, told Newsmax. "If anyone over at the Justice Department were doing anything, they'd be investigating her for obstruction of justice."
Rep. Trey Gowdy
of South Carolina, chairman of the Benghazi panel, said Clinton had failed to produce any new documents in response to a subpoena in recent weeks.
The former secretary of state has also refused to relinquish her server to a third party for an independent review, as Gowdy had requested.
David Kendall, who is Clinton's attorney, said Gowdy should be subpoenaing the emails from the State Department. The agency is "uniquely positioned to make available any documents responsive to your requests," he 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 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," he wrote.
Clinton, who is considering a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, had until Friday to respond to the subpoena for emails and documents related to the Libya attacks.
The 2012 assaults killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, including two former Navy SEALs.
Gowdy's committee demanded further documents and access to the server after it was revealed earlier this month that Clinton used a private email account and server during her years as the nation's top diplomat.
Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the panel's top Democrat, said Kendall's letter "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.
Mitchell told Newsmax that the emails should have been preserved, because Congress has been investigating Benghazi since late 2012. House Speaker John Boehner established Gowdy's committee last year.
"There were investigations that were ongoing, and there were requests from Congress well before she and her attorneys decided to delete emails," she said.
In civil proceedings, for instance, Mitchell said that a "litigation hold" suspends the destruction of any information that could be related to a case. The order would very likely apply to congressional inquiries and other investigations.
"These people know that," she said. "They're just used to obeying 'Clinton law' [rather] than United States law. It's what they do.
"They just assume that if they stonewall and look people in the eye and say, 'We're not going to obey the law; we're not going to do what everybody else would have to do' — that they'll get away with it. They usually do.
"They think they're above the law," Mitchell said. "It's just breathtaking. No one else in America could get away with the things they get away with. Breathtaking."
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