For Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the hits just keep on coming.
Less than 24 hours after the State Department's Office of Inspector General released a report that the former secretary of state had violated government policies with regard to email—and refused to cooperate with the IG's review—The Daily Caller reported that State Department staffers knew about her private email server much sooner than they told Congress. Her email address was discovered as part of an investigation into the Islamist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
According to the report, it calls into question the level of cooperation Congress is getting from the Obama Administration with its ongoing investigation into the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that claimed the lives of four Americans. It also suggests Clinton wasn't entirely truthful when she was questioned about her cooperation with that investigation, as well.
The IG report released on Wednesday added that the June 2013 discovery prompted a debate within the State Department in the ensuing weeks in which senior Department officials "discussed the Department's obligations under the Federal Records Act in the context of personal email accounts."
That debate appears to have done nothing to further the release of Clinton's emails. She did not hand them over to the State Department until December 2014.
The June 2013 discovery — which was made while staffers were responding to a subpoena request from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — is key because it shows that the State Department was aware that emails to and from Clinton likely existed which could have provided valuable insight to Congress about the Benghazi attacks.
Clinton's troubles appear to be far from over. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) made it clear Wednesday night he is not happy about the latest news. He released an official statement to express his anger:
"The Inspector General's report doesn't surprise me at all and substantiates what I've been seeing in the media. Not only does the report undermine Secretary Clinton's claim that the email system was approved, but it paints a pretty clear picture of obstruction and a desire to circumvent federal records laws. Sadly, Secretary Clinton and her staff refused to cooperate with the Inspector General despite her claims of transparency and a willingness to answer anyone's questions.
"Just as disturbing is that there appears to be several key documents referenced in the report that the State Department has withheld from the committee and some new witness testimony that clearly contradicts what former State Department staff have told the committee. I'm worried that key claims to the committee made by the State Department and attorneys for the former Clinton aides have not been accurate."
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