WASHINGTON (CBS DC/AP)– After a brief period of silence, Hillary Clinton is responding to the recent controversy surrounding the use of her personal email during her time in office. Clinton responded late Wednesday night on Twitter saying:
I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 5, 2015
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in response to Clinton’s tweet that the department will review for release the emails Clinton provided.
Harf said the department will conduct the review as quickly as possible, but said that could take some time, given the sheer volume of emails.
The announcement comes after a House committee investigating the Benghazi, Libya, attacks issued subpoenas Wednesday for the emails, who not only used a private account exclusively for official business when she was secretary of state — but also used a computer email server now traced back to her family’s New York home.
The subpoenas from the Republican-led Select Committee on Benghazi demanded additional material from Clinton and others related to Libya, spokesman Jamal D. Ware said. The panel also instructed technology companies it did not identify to preserve any relevant documents in their possession.
The development on Capitol Hill came the same day The Associated Press reported the existence of a personal email server traced back to the Chappaqua, New York, home of Clinton. The unusual practice of a Cabinet-level official running her own email server would have given Clinton — who is expected to run for president in the 2016 campaign — significant control over limiting access to her message archives.
The practice also would complicate the State Department’s legal responsibilities in finding and turning over official emails in response to any investigations, lawsuits or public records requests. The department would be in the position of accepting Clinton’s assurances she was surrendering everything required that was in her control.
Mrs. Clinton’s email options included using an official State Department account or even a secret agency email address, which the AP revealed in 2013 as a common practice across the U.S. government and by previous administrations. Many senior U.S. officials use alternate addresses that aren’t disclosed to the public for official business so they are not inundated with unwanted messages.
But the State Department’s email system might not have been attractive to Clinton because it is frequently targeted by hackers. The AP revealed in 2006 and 2014 that the agency had suffered significant electronic break-ins. In the most recent incident, the department took the unprecedented step of shutting down its entire unclassified email system. While Clinton was secretary of state in 2010, a U.S. soldier, Chelsea Manning, stole 250,000 diplomatic cables and turned them over to WikiLeaks, which published them online.