Democrats have said the GOP is using a House select committee on the terrorist attack to undermine Clinton’s presidential campaign.
House Republicans said Saturday that Hillary Clinton’s attorney is trying to bar them from questioning her about her email records and disputed reports the committee reached a deal with the former secretary of state to testify on Benghazi.
The New York Times, which first reported on the potential problems, said the Department of State and intelligence community inspectors general had referred the matter to the Department of Justice for possible criminal prosecution.
“The main goal of the referral was to notify security officials that classified information may exist on at least one private server and thumb drive that are not in the government’s possession”, the two watchdogs stated.
Clinton on Saturday brushed off the new investigation, saying she was confident she hadn’t received or sent anything that was classified at the time.
Campaign spokesperson Nick Merrill said the Democratic candidate’s testimony will be public.
Trump, who in the face of Republican opprobrium this week flirted with the prospect of an independent campaign, has been close to Clinton in the past, having donated to her and to the Clinton Foundation. Already, the State Department is reviewing 55,000 pages of Clinton’s emails.
“It’s been wonderful to me, how she’s been protected”, the real estate mogul said.
“Her email arrangement clearly falls within the scope of the Select Committee’s jurisdiction”, Ware said Saturday.
Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email address on a private server crossed lines that former General David Petraeus never did.
The State Department has made public some of the emails involving Clinton, and is under court order to make regular further releases of such correspondence. “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”, he said in part.
The Justice Department mistakenly told reporters that the request was for a criminal investigation, then corrected itself and said the request was not a criminal referral. “I don’t see how she can run”, Mr. Trump told CNN.
The office said it also raised that concern with Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence officials and was recommending changes in how the emails are being reviewed and processed for public release.
A few hours after the Clinton campaign announced her planned appearance, Jamal Ware, spokesman for the Benghazi committee, said the date was not firm.
Information for this article was contributed by Anne Gearan of The Washington Post; by Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times; by Chris Strohm of Bloomberg News; and by Catherine Lucey of The Associated Press.