WASHINGTON — Democrats on the House committee investigating the deadly 2012 Benghazi attacks are demanding that the panel's Republican chairman withdraw a subpoena for Hillary Clinton's emails and schedule a hearing for Clinton to testify immediately.
Democrats said in a letter Friday that the subpoena shows the panel led by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., has taken a "very partisan and political turn."
Democrats urged Gowdy to immediately publish Clinton's emails in their entirety to "help clear up any misperceptions." They said the committee should return to investigating the Benghazi attacks instead of being "a surrogate for the Republican National Committee."
The 12-member panel is investigating the September 2012 attacks, which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Democrats say Gowdy appeared to be targeting Clinton, the former secretary of state and a leading Democratic contender for president in 2016, "for political reasons" rather than to clarify remaining questions about the attacks.
Committee Republicans said Wednesday they had subpoenaed Clinton's personal emails pertinent to its probe. The panel said it also has issued a subpoena to the State Department for all other individuals who have relevant information.
Clinton, who served as secretary of state at the time of the Benghazi attacks, is the leading contender for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, though she has not declared she is running.
The House panel's announcement about the subpoenas came after it was disclosed that as the nation's top diplomat, Clinton relied on a personal email account rather than one operated by the government.