Will she or won’t she?
Hillary Clinton says she will testify this October before a public hearing of the House committee investigating the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. The committee says that’s not necessarily so, because Clinton’s own lawyer is still demanding conditions for her appearance.
The dispute is another in a line of sometimes contentious disagreements between the former Secretary of State and a special House panel headed by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-SC, that is investigating the U.S. government’s actions before and after the 2012 attack, as well as whether Clinton as Secretary of State discussed Benghazi in any of the mails on her private email server.
In the most recent, Clinton said recently that she had never been under subpoena, prompting Gowdy to call the claim “demonstrably false” and note that the panel had issued subpoenas.
“There are at least three separate legal obligations that should have informed and instructed her not to delete emails or wipe her server clean,” he told CNN.
On Saturday, they offered different views of whether she’ll appear before Gowdy’s committee.
“Earlier this week we were pleased for Secretary Clinton to receive an offer from Congressman Gowdy to appear before the committee in a public hearing in October, and yesterday accepted his invitation,” Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said in a statement.
However, the committee’s spokesman issued a statement Saturday afternoon saying Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, has actually not yet signed off.
“Secretary Clinton's campaign may want to reach out to her lawyer, Mr. David Kendall, with whom the Committee has had ongoing conversations,” spokesman Jamal Ware said. “As of last night, Mr. Kendall was still negotiating conditions for her appearance.”
Ware cited a letter from Kendall saying the hearing should be limited to the resolution creating the special committee. The House approved the resolution in May 2014, before it was revealed in March 2015 that Clinton had used a private email server for work emails.
“Her email arrangement clearly falls within the scope of the Select Committee's jurisdiction,” Ware said Saturday.
“The Committee will not, now or ever, accept artificial limitations on its congressionally-directed jurisdiction or efforts to meet the responsibilities assigned to the Committee by the House of Representatives. Accordingly, once there is an agreement on the date and a better understanding of how, if at all, Secretary Clinton's lawyer's latest writing differs from previous ones, the Committee will announce said hearing date.”
He also said Kendall requested that the hearing date, reportedly Oct. 22, would not change even Ware said “the Department of State has been woefully recalcitrant in producing relevant documents.”