Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is under fire for exclusively using a personal email account during her tenure with the State Department — a big faux pas that could potentially damage Clinton's credibility moving forward. To rectify her mistake, Clinton wants to release all her State Department emails to the public. Her request came just hours after a House committee probing the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, subpoenaed Clinton's email correspondence as part of its investigation.
Clinton made her succinct request in a tweet late on Wednesday. "I want the public to see my email," the former secretary of state wrote. "I asked State to release them."
Clinton added that the State Department said it will review her emails and release them as quickly as possible. So far, this is the only public response Clinton has given since the news broke earlier this week.
State Department spokesperson Marie Harf confirmed in a statement via Reuters that the agency will make do on Clinton's request, but it's unclear how long the reviewing process will take. "Given the sheer volume of the document set, this review will take some time to complete," Harf said.
Federal law requires government employees to use government-sponsored email accounts and servers for official correspondence so it can be recorded and archived. The Associated Press discovered on Wednesday that Clinton did not only fail to set up a government-sponsored email account, but also had her own email server, which could be traced back to her home in suburban New York. The AP noted that it's extremely unusual for a high-ranking government official to have her own email server, again calling into question Clinton's transparency.
The discovery of Clinton's breach of government conduct — and federal law — came as House members continue to investigate the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, which left two people dead, including U.S. ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the House Benghazi committee, told reporters this week: "I want the documents. Sooner rather than later." The Republican added that you don't "need a law degree" to know that Clinton's secretive email correspondence is "troubling."
Speaker of the House John Boehner also criticized Clinton's actions this week, telling the AP: "It doesn't matter if the server was in Foggy Bottom, Chappaqua or Bora Bora. The Benghazi Select Committee needs to see all of these emails, because the American people deserve all of the facts."
Meanwhile, the State Department has defended Clinton, saying her advisers made sure the proper emails were documented. The department insists that Clinton and her advisers did not break federal law.
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