The Corner

Politics & Policy

Pace Jake Tapper, Chairman Gowdy Did Not Subpoena Hillary Clinton As Soon As Committee Learned of Her Private Email Use

After the CNN interview in which Hillary Clinton falsely denied that she received a subpoena from the House select committee on Benghazi, Twitchy noted a tweet from CNN’s Jake Tapper. He first quoted Clinton’s claim, “I’ve never had a subpoena.” Then he adds the following, evidently from a responsive statement by the committee’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.):

Gowdy: “she was personally subpoenaed” the moment Benghazi cmte learned of personal email/server.

As I discussed in the preceding post, there is no question that Mrs. Clinton was personally subpoenaed by the Benghazi select committee. It is not true, however, that this happened as soon as the committee found out about the emails.

I preface this by highlighting that Tapper quotes Chairman Gowdy as making only the true assertion that Clinton was subpoenaed. The tweet’s claim that the subpoena was issued “the moment Benghazi cmte learned of personal email/server” is not represented as a quote from Gowdy. It could be something Tapper erroneously added … although the reader would reasonably assume that this reported (mis)information came from Gowdy. I doubt this is the case because Gowdy has previously conceded that he failed to subpoena the emails promptly.

As I recounted back in early March, Gowdy told Politico that his committee knew by the summer of 2014 – at least six months before issuing the subpoena – that former Secretary Clinton used private email to conduct official government business. He acknowledged in March that, rather than issuing a subpoena immediately upon learning of the private email system, he relied on the cooperation of Clinton’s advisers and the State Department to gain access to all relevant Benghazi documents.

It was only when the New York Times broke the news about Clinton’s use of a private email system that the committee finally issued its subpoena. As detailed in the March 27, 2015, letter to Gowdy from Clinton’s personal attorney, David Kendall (which I discussed in the aforementioned post from earlier this afternoon), the subpoena called for “production of any documents sent from or received by the email addresses ‘hrd22@clintonemail.com’ or ‘hrod17@clintonemail.com.’”

Gowdy later conceded that it was an error to wait six months while the State Department gave him the run-around.

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