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Andrew McCarthy: Why Didn't GOP Probe Hillary's Benghazi Emails?

Monday, 09 Mar 2015 06:41 PM

There's a question as to whether Republicans really want to get to the bottom of the Benghazi attack, Andrew McCarthy says.

The former federal prosecutor says he can't understand why the House select committee investigating Benghazi didn't subpoena Hillary Clinton six months ago.

"They should certainly have subpoenaed at the very least her emails, and certainly I would've subpoenaed the server," McCarthy, a columnist for National Review, said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"I don't understand why [committee chairman Rep. Trey] Gowdy — as soon as he found out there were emails — didn't act to subpoena them.

"And because this is about public accountability … they should've been screaming about this six months ago."

That said, the former secretary of state's email controversies are much more a political accountability issue than a legal one, according to McCarthy, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

"It's a mistake for those on the right who want to look at this as purely an electoral politics issue to be worried too much about whether she violated criminal laws," he said.

"She clearly violated record-keeping laws … This was a really sleazy thing to do whether it was illegal or not, and it was blatantly against the Obama administration's own transparency regulation.

"If I were only interested in the politics, I would be arguing it on that ground rather than getting too much into what law she may have violated."

Last week, The New York Times revealed Clinton, the presumed Democrat candidate for the 2016 presidential race, used private email to conduct government business when she was secretary of state.

Her spokesman defended the practice and told the Times she has been complying with the "letter and spirit of the rules." But the uproar over the apparent breach of government rules has not let up.

McCarthy said Clinton "may have violated the federal embezzlement statute, which is a subpoena law. But I just don't think she's ever going to be prosecuted for it.

"The issue is how sleazy is it and do we really want to have another four or eight years of what we went through in the '90s," he said.

The fact Gowdy's committee has dragged its feet on subpoenaing Clinton puts "a big question in my mind" about how interested Republicans are in getting to the bottom of Benghazi, according to McCarthy.

"Before they set up this select committee, people like me were screaming for it for almost two years since Benghazi. I guess it was about a year and a half by the time they finally convened it," he said.

"The Republican leadership in Congress did not want to set up this committee. They basically were pushed into it because [government watchdog group] Judicial Watch obtained the smoking gun email."

That email showed that a senior White House official advised then-National Security Adviser Susan Rice to blame a spontaneous protest over an anti-Muslim YouTube video for the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died.

"This is not an expression of hostility in the broadest sense toward the United States or to U.S. policy," Rice said at the time.

"At that point, [House] Speaker John Boehner finally threw up his hands, relented, and put this committee together, but … it's been a sleepy, lethargic committee. It's done virtually nothing in 10 months," McCarthy said.

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There's a question as to whether Republicans really want to get to the bottom of the Benghazi attack, Andrew McCarthy says. The former federal prosecutor says he can't understand why the House committee investigating Benghazi didn't subpoena Hillary Clinton six months ago.
Hillary Clinton, emails, scandal, Benghazi, House, committee, probe, sooner, Secretary of State
2012
2015-41-09
Monday, 09 Mar 2015 06:41 PM
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