WASHINGTON — The chairman of a House committee investigating the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, said Tuesday he will call former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to appear before his committee at least twice.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said one appearance is needed to "clear up" Clinton's role in using personal email to conduct official business as the nation's top diplomat. The committee wants to establish that it has a complete record with respect to Clinton's four-year tenure, Gowdy said.
The committee also plans to call Clinton to appear at a separate public hearing to answer questions specifically regarding Libya and the September 2012 attacks in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Smith and three other Americans, Gowdy said.
Gowdy said he was "left with more questions than answers" following Clinton's news conference on the email controversy Tuesday in New York. Clinton said she should have used government email as secretary of state and acknowledged she had destroyed tens of thousands of emails in her private account that she described as personal in nature.
Gowdy said in a statement that "serious questions" remain about the security of the system Clinton employed, including who authorized the exclusive use of personal email, despite advice to the contrary from the State Department and the White House. Gowdy said he also wants to know who had access to a private server from the time Clinton left office until the emails were turned over to the State Department last year.
Gowdy called on Clinton to turn her server over to a neutral third party who could determine which documents should be public and which should remain private.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the senior Democrat on the Benghazi committee, said he was glad Clinton addressed the email controversy in person, and he welcomed the State Department's decision to release Clinton's emails related to Benghazi as soon as possible.
Cummings said he hopes the Benghazi panel "will return to its purpose of investigating the attacks in Benghazi instead of attempting to impact the 2016 presidential election."
Clinton is considered the Democratic front-runner for president, although she has not declared her candidacy.