Hillary Clinton, a likely contender for the Democratic U.S. presidential nomination, urged the U.S. State Department to release her emails from her term as Secretary of State in an effort to defuse the latest controversy.
State Department officials have said it might take months to release her emails, however, according to Reuters.
Hillary Clinton said she wants to release her emails for the public to see and has asked the State Department to release them as soon as possible. She made the request in a tweet Wednesday hours after a congressional committee issued subpoenas for those emails.
The committee is investigating the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi in 2012 that claimed the lives of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens along with three other Americans.
Clinton has urged the release of her emails in an effort to end the so-called emailgate scandal.
The controversy surrounds her use of a private email address during her time as Secretary of State instead of a government account. Republicans have criticized her for violating transparency regulations regarding the use of email accounts.
The rules mandating the use of a government email account didn’t actually exist at the time Clinton was in office, however, as reported by the Inquisitr. John Kerry was the first person to hold the Secretary of State office under the new rules and use a state.gov email address.
That technicality may not be enough so save her, however, as her Republican foes continue to say the use of a private email was inappropriate, and even her Democratic allies wonder if she is still a viable candidate.
Government experts have said Clinton’s use of a private email goes against the guidance given to public officials. Private emails are more vulnerable to hacking and harder to archive, as reported by the U.S. News and World Report.
Before authorizing the release of Hillary Clinton’s emails, the State Department must wade through the 55,000 pages she has turned over to them.
The emailgate scandal has hit Clinton just before the expected launch of her 2016 presidential campaign and promises to become a thorn in her side. The controversy is also the first test of how an Obama White House will handle a Clinton campaign.
An Obama spokesman said Clinton acted in compliance with the Federal Records Act and White House guidelines although they also made clear it isn’t the president’s job to make sure Clinton followed the law, according to the Daily Mail.
“I can take responsibility for ensuring that those emails are properly preserved and maintained because that’s what the State Department’s role is,” Obama spokesman Josh Earnest told the Daily Mail. “But there was not an Obama administration official that was responsible for reviewing those emails.”