Leading Republicans Lay Out Case for Perjury Against Clinton

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton / AP
August 15, 2016

Two leading Republicans on Monday sent a letter to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia laying out a case for charging Hillary Clinton with perjury.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) wrote that the results of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s personal email use at the State Department contradicted four aspects of Clinton’s sworn testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi last October.

"This letter identifies several pieces of Secretary Clinton’s testimony that appear to implicate 18 U.S.C. §§1621 and 1001 the criminal statutes that prohibit perjury and false statements, respectively," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Channing Phillips, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, sent Monday.

"The evidence collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during its investigation of Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email system during her time as Secretary of State appears to directly contradict several aspects of her sworn testimony."

The letter placed four aspects of Clinton’s sworn testimony in relief of the revelations of the FBI probe, specifically her statements regarding whether she sent or received emails marked classified when they originated on her email; whether her lawyers reviewed each of the emails on her personal system; how many servers were used to store her work-related communications during her tenure at the State Department; and whether Clinton turned over all of her work-related emails to the State Department.

The lawmakers, for example, pointed out that Clinton claimed before the House panel that none of the messages she sent or received were marked classified at the time, in contrast with statements made later by FBI Director James Comey.

"The FBI, however, found several of Secretary Clinton’s emails did in fact contain markings that identified classified information therein," the lawmakers wrote. "In Director Comey’s public statement on July 5, 2016, he said, ‘a very small number of the emails containing classified information bore the markings indicating the presence of classified information.’"

The leading Republicans likewise explained how Clinton’s testimony in other areas was contradicted by findings of the FBI investigation. While the FBI did not formally recommend Clinton or anyone else be charged following the probe, Comey faulted Clinton and her aides for being "extremely careless" with handling of classified information in July.

The FBI also concluded that hostile actors likely gained access to Clinton’s emails, 113 of which were determined to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received.

"The four pieces of sworn testimony by Secretary Clinton described herein are incompatible with the FBI’s findings," Goodlatte and Chaffetz wrote. "We hope this information is helpful to your office’s consideration of our referral."

The lawmakers previously requested that Phillips investigate Clinton’s statements. The Department of Justice said in a letter to them earlier this month that it "will take appropriate action as necessary."