Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee demanded the FBI release Clinton emails on Thursday, accusing her of using a private email server while she was secretary of state.
“The Clinton emails are evidence of a conflict of interest,” House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte said on the committee’s floor.
“They’re the product of a private server, they’re not the product, as we believe, of the State Department or the Department of Justice.
And we don’t think that the FBI should release those emails in any way.”
He continued: “We think that Congress should get them.
They’re evidence of that conflict of interests.
And if the FBI doesn’t release them, then they should release them publicly.
They should be released to the public.”
Goodlatte and other Republican members of the committee also questioned why FBI Director James Comey didn’t tell Congress in a February letter that there was no evidence of “intent to obstruct justice.”
Comey made that statement, along with a memo he sent to Congress, after congressional leaders called on him to publicly disclose the investigation into the private email system.
Comey has not publicly said whether he has any reason to think Clinton committed obstruction of justice.
The FBI director testified earlier this month that Clinton’s emails had not been marked classified, which would require him to release them.
But he told lawmakers that he hadn’t seen the emails.
“My concern is that if the information that is contained in those emails is not classified, there’s no way to know if it’s classified,” Comey said in response to a question from Republican Representative Trey Gowdy.
“So I’m not saying there isn’t anything that we can learn from it, but I don’t know what we can conclude based on what we’re seeing.”
Goodlatuste and the other Republican lawmakers also questioned the FBI’s ability to find the emails in the first place, saying they’d heard from people who believed Clinton used a private account to send classified emails.
Comey said on March 3 that he couldn’t confirm or deny that theory, but did say that he wouldn’t be able to “conclusively say” that the messages were not classified.
In response to the House Republicans’ letter, Goodlatty said: “The FBI’s history of not releasing information in its investigation into Hillary Clinton has not been good.
This is no exception.
In fact, it has been bad.
And this is one of the reasons why the House should be asking the FBI to turn over its materials.
The public has a right to know what the FBI is doing.
And the FBI needs to be given every opportunity to do just that.”