In the wake of recent news that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has agreed to testify before a U.S. House Select Committee investigating the 2012 attacks on an American compound in Benghazi, some Republican members of Congress are licking their chops at the prospect of getting a good crack at the 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner over an issue that remains on the front burner for conservatives.
Among them is U.S. Rep. Martha Roby of Alabama’s Wiregrass and Montgomery-based 2nd Congressional District. Roby is one of seven Republican members chosen for the committee.
“It doesn’t surprise me that the Clinton lawyers want to limit her testimony,” Roby told Alabama Today on Tuesday, responding to corollary news that Clinton has refused to testify twice as requested by the committee, conceding to only one hotly anticipated appearance. “But, remember, it was her decision, not ours, to set up a secret email system in a calculated attempt to flout government transparency requirements. And there are many legitimate questions that remain unanswered.”
She expressed her enthusiasm that South Carolina U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy — who has been vocal in his criticisms of Clinton over Benghazi — may get to oversee a panel devoted to extracting answers from the former New York senator in light of her use of a private email address while serving on President Barack Obama‘s Cabinet.
“I know that Chairman Gowdy is taking this offer into consideration and we will see what happens going forward. Chairman Gowdy has been a deliberate, effective leader of this Select Committee and we are behind him 100 percent,” Roby said.
U.S. Reps. Bradley Byrne, Mike Rogers, Robert Aderholt and Mo Brooks — Republicans all — each voted “yea” and co-sponsored the federal legislation that created the committee.
Democrat Terri Sewell, for her part, voted against it. Rep. Gary Palmer wasn’t yet elected when the House created the Select Committee.
He did tell Birmingham talk radio host Matt Murphy in March he thinks “we should subpoena the server and see what’s on it.”
Palmer also told the Birmingham Morning News, “I have zero confidence that this Justice Department will do anything under Obama [concerning Clinton’s emails].”