Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn't decide to turn over some of her emails out of a sudden "sense of transparency," but because of the House committee investigating the Benghazi attacks, Rep. Susan Brooks said Saturday, insisting that it is time for Clinton to turn over her email server to an independent arbiter.
"Only when we pressed for more information did we find out that she relied exclusively on personal email hosted by her own personal server as secretary of state," said Brooks, an Indiana Republican who serves on the committee, in Saturday's GOP address
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But not only that, but the committee learned Clinton kept her emails, and once it was discovered, "it was she and her attorneys alone who decided what e-mails should be returned to the government and then just a fraction of those were released to our committee," said Brooks, a former U.S. Attorney.
But the key word, Brooks pointed out, is "some." On Tuesday, Clinton said she had turned over 30,490 emails from the private account she'd used while serving as secretary of state, but said she deleted more than half the emails she either wrote or received from 2009 through 2013 after designating them as being personal.
"Right now there is no way for us to know whether we have all of the State Department communications that rightfully belong to the American people," said Brooks. "The only way to truly know is by having access to Secretary Clinton’s personal server."
The communications are vital, said Brooks, because there are still too many questions left after the Benghazi attacks, in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens and other embassy staff were killed, and that is "simply unacceptable."
"We need to know why the security at our embassy was left inadequate," said Brooks. "Why were requests for additional security denied? Why was our response not sufficient? Why were some members of the administration slow to acknowledge a terrorist attack had actually occurred? It is unjust and simply wrong for anyone to withhold evidence that may lead to the answers."
Clinton needs to turn over her server to a neutral arbiter, said Brooks, who can make the determination as to which emails should be public and which ones should remain private, and who can keep the decisions impartial and independent.
The four Americans who died in the attacks, Brooks said, "were public servants ... fathers, sons, friends, colleagues and neighbors. The people who knew them — who loved them — deserve the truth. The government they served has a duty to provide that truth and do whatever is necessary to make sure it never happens again."
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