Senator Cornyn Calls for Special Counsel to Oversee Clinton Email Investigation

Today I sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting that she appoint a special counsel to oversee the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for official business while in office. Under Department of Justice regulations, the Attorney General has broad discretion to appoint a special counsel where circumstances warrant the appointment.

Full text of the letter is below:

September 15, 2015

The Honorable Loretta E. Lynch
Attorney General
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20530

Dear Attorney General Lynch:

As a result of the congressional committee investigating the tragic deaths of four American public servants in Benghazi, Libya, the public learned in March that Hillary Clinton maintained a private, unsecured server over which she conducted official e-mail work during her tenure as Secretary of State. That decision limited the public accountability on which our government depends and put our national security at risk. I write requesting that you appoint a Special Counsel to oversee the investigation of this matter.

While Secretary Clinton kept her arrangement and records from government authorities and the American public, congressional investigators and ongoing federal court proceedings continue to bring the details to light. We now know, among other things, that classified information was transmitted over the server, including by Clinton herself. As you are well aware, the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community has referred the matter to Department of Justice (DOJ) officials to investigate the potential compromise of national security information.

We also know that records maintained on the server were not timely preserved or reported to government authorities, searched in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), or turned over to the State Department when Clinton resigned. A federal judge presiding over FOIA litigation stated that Secretary Clinton failed to follow government record-keeping policy.

Moreover, Secretary Clinton denied publicly that she transmitted classified information and violated government policy, both of which proved untrue. Secretary Clinton’s lawyers made their own determinations as to which of the emails on her server were government records and deleted the remainder – tens of thousands of documents. And the former campaign staffer who set up the server, who would subsequently be employed both by the State Department and Secretary Clinton privately, has invoked the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to avoid providing information to government investigators.

The Attorney General has a special duty to pursue justice even when political considerations run counter to doing so. At critical times in our nation’s history, your predecessors have exercised that duty by appointing politically-independent individuals to investigate potential wrongdoing involving senior administration officials. Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations provide that you may appoint a Special Counsel if you believe a criminal investigation is warranted and there is a conflict of interest for the DOJ or if “extraordinary circumstances” warrant the appointment.


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