Rep. Trey Gowdy insists that he remains strictly impartial in his committee's probe of former secretary of State Hillary Clinton's exclusive use of a personal email account during her tenure and her refusal to turn her server over to a neutral examiner for an independent determination of whether she illegally may be hiding information from the American public.
Nonetheless, Gowdy, R-S.C., who says his investigation is not directed personally at Clinton, and who accepts that his eventual findings may bring him only condemnation from both the left and the right, has emerged as the biggest threat to Clinton's presidential ambitions, Politico notes
While she served as secretary of state, Clinton sent and received 62,320 emails, of which 30,400 were turned over to the department, and 31,830, which Clinton characterizes as "personal" and "private," were not. They remain on Clinton's home email server and are the targets of Gowdy's quest, AOL notes
"I have no guarantee that we have everything we're entitled to be able to do our jobs. There are huge gaps," Gowdy told Fox News, noting of Clinton's 2011 trip to Libya, "there are no emails for weeks and weeks on either side of that trip, including the trip itself."
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"I think an eminently reasonable alternative is for her to turn over that server to an independent, neutral third party. I just can't trust her lawyers to make the determination that the public's getting everything they're entitled to. The House as an institution may be forced to go to court to try to get access to that. She doesn't get to decide what is purely personal and what is public."
However, Gowdy, whose original task was to investigate the 2012 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, insists that his investigation is not a political attack on Clinton.
"She really is going to be, I don't want to say a small part — I don't know — but she is by no means the central focus of our inquiry," he told Politico.
"(Speaker of the House) John Boehner (R-Ohio) didn't even mention her name when he asked me to do this. There are a million other things to pursue with respect to Benghazi other than Secretary Clinton."
He added: "Taking on Clinton is not my job. That's the job of the RNC (Republican National Committee) and the Republican candidate for president. If they hired me for that job, they hired the wrong guy."
Still, he insists, he wants to call Clinton to testify before his committee, and said: "There's enough to warrant asking more questions, that's all. It is completely irresponsible for me to see a gap and to assume the most nefarious explanation. But I do think it is curious that there would be no emails and documents from when she was in Libya. There are gaps on either side of that trip," Politico noted.
Lynn Shackleford of the Spartanburg Herald Journal, who has covered Gowdy's career, told Politico: "He's a bulldog. You will not outwork him, and he never loses."
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