Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will appear in October before the Benghazi select committee investigating the 2012 attacks that killed four Americans in Libya, Clinton’s presidential campaign confirmed on Saturday.
“Earlier this week we were pleased for Secretary Clinton to receive an offer from Congressman (Trey) Gowdy to appear before the committee in a public hearing in October, and yesterday accepted his invitation,” campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said.
The development comes as reports surfaced that two inspector generals at the State Department have requested that the Department of Justice open a criminal probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server after finding reason to believe it was used for transmitting “hundreds of potentially classified e-mails.” The memo was notably written to Patrick F. Kennedy, the under secretary of state for management.
“Committee Members on both sides have been aware of concerns about classified emails within the self-selected records turned over by Secretary Clinton. The Committee appreciates that Inspectors General appointed by President Obama have confirmed this is a serious and nonpartisan national security matter by any objective measure,” Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said in a statement following the reports. “The number of questions surrounding Secretary Clinton’s unusual email arrangement continues to grow. The best—the only way—to resolve these important factual questions is for her to turn over her server to the proper authorities for independent forensic evaluation.”
Mrs. Clinton claimed she used the one email account because it was more convenient, a claim that didn’t hold up to scrutiny. While sitting for an interview at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women in Santa Clara, California, Hillary Clinton said that she uses at least two cell phones — an iPhone and a Blackberry.
The practice — which violated President Obama’s rules on record keeping, and likely the Federal Records Act — also shielded her correspondence from congressional and Freedom of Information Act requests. Clinton has faced tremendous backlash, and it has begun to show in the polls. Clinton, the Democratic presidential frontrunner, is now trailing the top Republican candidates in several key swing states, including Colorado, Iowa and Virginia. According to a new Quinnipiac University Poll, the former secretary of state can no longer dismiss her abysmal favorability and trustworthy numbers, while underscoring her leadership numbers and overall lead.
“Hillary Clinton’s numbers have dropped among voters in the key swing states of Colorado, Iowa and Virginia. She has lost ground in the horserace and on key questions about her honesty and leadership,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “On being a strong leader, a key metric in presidential campaigns, she has dropped four to 10 points depending on the state and she is barely above 50 percent in each of the three states.”