Release of records delayed for over a year, when State Department officials moved records after congressional subpoena.
Washington Free Beacon reports that the Secretary of State office removed files relating to the Benghazi attack and shuffled them to another department, after congress subpoenaed the records in March 2015. The electronic folders were “rediscovered” at the end of last year. The late discovery of the files then also caused a delay in the release of information in other public records lawsuits filed against the State Department by “watchdog” groups.
State Department officials said the files had been overlooked because the executive office had transferred them to another department to be flagged for archiving. Investigators had met with the executive office last April – the same month the records were transferred to another department. Attending that meeting was Catherine Duval, the attorney who oversaw the public release of Clinton’s emails. (She had previously overseen production for the IRS, when emails were reportedly destroyed and a key IRS official’s hard drive was shredded, months after they had been subpoenaed by Congress.) Duval left the State Department in September.
The State Department revealed in January they had discovered the files, and asked the court for additional time to process and release the documents. On April 8, 2016, the department finally turned over 1,100 pages of electronic documents to the House Benghazi Committee, over a year after the committee’s original subpoena.
The delay caused serious consequences, according to Washington Free Beacon, as the Benghazi Committee had already completed interviews with officials regarding the attack, without having access to the files.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the committee, called the action “deplorable” that it took over a year for the records to be produced.
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