State Dept: We Haven’t Seen Blumenthal Benghazi Emails

By Meredith Dake
Posted June 19, 2015 at 1:09pm
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State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters Wednesday the emails that were turned over to Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., had not been reviewed by the State Department. Kirby said without knowing their contents it was impossible to know if the department already possessed the emails or if they were emails the Clintons had turned over to the committee but not the State Department. Matt Lee with The Associated Press concluded, “The question is, if the Secretary, if you did have them and — and why were they not turned over to the committee by the building? Why did they have to get them from Mr. Blumenthal?” On Thursday reporters again followed up with the State Department on the possession of the emails and Kirby said he could provide those updates. “These questions won’t go away,” Lee said. Read a transcript of the exchange, via CQ.com: QUESTION: Can I go back to the e-mails for a second? KIRBY: Yes? QUESTION: You said that the e-mails that were provided by Mr. Blumenthal to the committee on Friday were not shared with the department. Does that mean that the committee didn’t share them or you did not have them to give to the committee? KIRBY: No, no, I meant that the documents that Mr. Blumenthal turned over to those committees, they were not shared with us either by him or by the committee. QUESTION: Well, did you have them? QUESTION: Yeah, do you have — do you might theoretically have them? KIRBY: I can’t speak to their content, so we haven’t seen them, so I can’t speak to the contents or — or… QUESTION: Or whether you have… KIRBY: … or tell you whether we have them or not. QUESTION: So Congressman Gowdy… QUESTION: But it’s potentially possible that you do have them from Secretary Clinton, you just don’t know because you haven’t seen them… KIRBY: It is possible. We haven’t seen that inventory. QUESTION: So Congressman Gowdy has said that he is going to make them public using this. Can you, once they have been made, or even before they’ve been made public, I would assume as this building sees them and can look at them in comparison to what the — what former Secretary Clinton turned over, can you then tell us whether or not these emails were among those that she turned over to the building, and if in fact they were, why exactly did this building not turn them over to the committee? KIRBY: Well, let’s not put the cart before the horse, Matt. Obviously… QUESTION: Well, right, but that doesn’t… KIRBY: … if we get to see them, we will certainly make the judgment about. QUESTION: Well, I would hope that you would want to see them. I mean, that you would be looking to see the — the question is, if the secretary, if you did have them and — and why were they not turned over to the committee by the building? Why did they have to get them from Mr. Blumenthal? And it may be there may be a very simple explanation that may not have been covered by what the committee had asked the State Department for, but it would be good to know what the explanation is if in fact you did have them. And then if you didn’t have them, does the building think that it was — that it didn’t get all of the emails it should have gotten from former Secretary Clinton? KIRBY: All great questions. It was just not able to answer right now. QUESTION: Just one more on the — one more on the emails, just more about the investigation itself. Chairman Gowdy has made pretty clear that he is branching the investigation and the work — the scope of his committee’s focus from just the Benghazi incident to U.S. policy in Libya in its totality. Do you feel — is that within the mandate of this committee, or are you concerned that this is mission creep? KIRBY: Well, that’s not for us to say here at the State Department. I mean, Mr. Gowdy has to speak for the way he’s… QUESTION: But is that what you see them doing here? KIRBY: Again, I’m not going to characterize the work of the select committee. Secretary Kerry’s been very clear with the department that w