The GOP-controlled Senate is apparently tired of sitting on the sidelines and watching their House colleagues get all the attention from the various investigations into Hillary Clinton.
A yet-to-released statement from Senate Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) says he will hold up a State Department nominee unless the agency gives panel investigators more information about the private email server the 2016 Democratic frontrunner used while in office. He wants to know if the unique arrangement “may be in violation of department policy and federal law.”
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The unreleased statement was obtained by Politico.
Grassley also wants State to offers details about the work top Clinton aide Huma Abedin -- who was recently found by State to have received a wrongful reimbursement for $10,000 of unused leave time -- performed for the agency.
The Iowa Republican will block a nominee for an assistant secretary post “because the State Department has engaged in unreasonable delay in responding to Judiciary Committee investigations and inquiries,” apparently noting that his queries about Abedin date back to 2013.
“To this day, the Committee has not received a complete response. Moreover, the Committee recently acquired information that shows the State Department has been in possession of material that would answer some of the Committee’s inquiries. Yet, the requested material is still not forthcoming,” according to Grassley.
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He said Clinton’s old agency “apparently believes that it can simply ignore Congress,” adding that State has failed to confirm via email or phone call that it has received the panel’s inquiries “despite three emails sent by Committee staff.”
The soon-to-be-released missive is a clear sign that Senate Republicans want in on the controversy that has dogged Clinton’s White House bid for the last five months. There was some chatter after Republicans took back the Senate majority in last year’s election that they would create their own panel to investigate the events surrounding the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, but such talk never panned out.
The GOP has held up Clinton’s private server, which was uncovered by the House Select Committee on Benghazi, to paint the former Secretary of State as untrustworthy.
Recent polls indicate the strategy might be working, as Clinton has lost ground in several key battleground states.
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Grassley’s warning marks the opening on another front for Hillary’s campaign. The FBI on Tuesday announced it was looking into the unusual email setup. And just last month the top watchdogs for the Intelligence Community and State put out a damning statement saying some of the messages to and from Clinton “never” should have been relayed through a personal server.
On top of all that, Clinton is slated to testify before the House Benghazi panel on October 22, a date Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail have already circled on their calendars in the hopes that the sure-to-be-feisty hearing provides more attack fodder on Clinton.