With the clock ticking on her final days as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton received a formal request from Congress asking her for specific details about her use of a personal email account to conduct public business.
And she ignored it.
According to reports in The New York Times and Fox News, former House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sent Clinton and other Obama Cabinet heads a list of eight questions related to email use including private email accounts, accounts established under aliases and department policies regarding archiving.
According to Fox:
The letter contained eight questions related to officials’ use of personal email accounts. The very first question asked by Issa was, “Have you or any senior agency official ever used a personal email account to conduct official business? If so, please identify the account used.” Subsequent questions asked about whether “alias email” accounts and text messages were used to conduct official business.
The letter set a deadline of Jan. 7 for a response. Clinton left office Feb. 1 without answering.
And when Thomas Gibbons, the State Department’s the acting assistant secretary for legislative affairs, did get around to answering, in a letter dated March 27, according to The New York Times, it did nothing more than restate the department’s email policies.
“Employees may use personal email on personal time for matters not directly related to official business, and any employee using personal email ‘should make it clear that his or her personal email is not being used for official business,’ ” the response states.
In other words, Congress, “talk to the hand.”
Issa’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee spent most of Obama’s first term tracking down the administration’s assaults on the constitution through the Justice Department’s Operation Fast and Furious and the IRS stifling of conservative groups in the lead-up to the 2012 election, so it’s no surprise that any inquiry from him would be stonewalled by the woman who already then was no doubt determined to take Obama’s place.
But since it came when it did, only four months after the terrorist attack on Benghazi that the administration was still trying to blame on an Internet video when it already knew the facts, the congressional inquiry had to be particularly uncomfortable for Clinton and the circle around her.
Clinton has said using a personal email account and server was a matter of convenience for her.
Answering Issa’s questions while Benghazi was still in the headlines would have been inconvenient indeed, for her and the president.
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