Gowdy on Clinton's Oct. 22 Testimony: 'You're Going to Stay There Until All of the Questions Are Asked and Answered'

By Susan Jones | August 17, 2015 | 9:27am EDT
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) chairs the House Select Committee on Benghazi. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Hillary Clinton is scheduled to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on October 22, and "the ground rules are simple," Committee Chair Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) told "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace:

"You're going to stay there until all of the questions are asked and answered with respect to Benghazi and Libya, and part of that is ensuring that the public record is whole and complete, which means we necessarily have to discuss your unusual e-mail practices, but we're going to stay there until all of the questions -- if she's going to insist, Chris, that she's only coming once, I'm going to insist that once be fully constructed, which means she's going to be there for a while."

Gowdy said Clinton's use of a private server to send and receive email -- some of it containing classified information -- "was one of the most reckless decisions that have been made in public service in a long time."

In March, Clinton said she used a private email service "for convenience,” to avoid using two devices -- one for work and one for personal communication.

"And the notion that she did this for convenience -- I would just ask you, Chris, convenient for whom?" Gowdy asked. "Because it sure hasn't turned out to be convenient for the American people or for our intelligence apparatus. It may have been convenient for her, but it hasn't been convenient for anyone else."

Gowdy noted that his committee urged Clinton to turn over her private server to a "neutral" third party in March, but it wasn't until classified information was found in some of her emails that the FBI got involved.

"So, I wish she had done this in March. We would be further down the road. But she swore she would never turn the server over again -- and I guess she didn't. It was taken. It wasn't turned over. It was taken."

Gowdy said Clinton's mishandling of classified information is outside the scope of his committee's investigation.

"My focus is on the four murdered Americans in Benghazi," he said, "but before I can write the final definitive accounting of that, I have to make sure that the public record is complete."

On Friday, at a Democrat fundraiser in Iowa, Clinton dismissed Republican investigations into the Benghazi disaster as a partisan effort to undermine her.

"They'll try to tell you it's about Benghazi, but it's not," Clinton said about Republicans who have launched congressional inquiries. "It's not about emails or servers either. It's about politics," she said.

Gowdy said his committee is "going to follow the facts wherever they go, and if that impacts people's perception of her fitness to be commander-in-chief, so be it. I can just tell you this, for the first three public hearings, I never mentioned her name."

Gowdy said he's interested only in "doing a good job for those four murdered Americans and their families. The classified information, the rest of it, is in other people's jurisdiction and I'm content with that."

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