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GOP lawmaker: Clinton email server key to Benghazi inquiry

WASHINGTON (AP) – A member of the House committee investigating the deadly attacks against Americans in Benghazi, Libya, says Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email server could help lawmakers answer vital questions.

Among them: Why was security at the U.S. diplomatic compound inadequate?

Rep. Susan Brooks of Indiana said in the weekly Republican radio address Saturday that gaining access to Clinton’s server is “the only way to truly know” that investigators have obtained all the State Department communications that “rightfully belong to the American people.”

Clinton acknowledged this past week that as the nation’s top diplomat, she relied on a personal email account rather than one operated by the government.

The committee chairman Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, has called on Clinton to turn over the server for an independent review; Clinton so far has rebuffed the request.

GOP leaders have not ruled out a House vote to force Clinton to turn over the server, setting up a possible confrontation between the GOP-led Congress and the person who could be the Democratic front-runner for president in 2016.

Brooks said in her address that the server could help her committee “answer vital questions,” including why requests for additional security at the Benghazi compound were denied, and why some members of the Obama administration appeared “slow to acknowledge” that a terrorist attack had occurred.

“It is simply unacceptable for so many questions to remain unanswered,’ Brooks said. “And it is unjust and simply wrong for anyone to withhold evidence that may lead to the answers.”

President Barack Obama has promised that his administration would be the “most transparent administration in history,” but Brooks said Clinton “has fallen painfully short” of that mark.

Clinton served as secretary of state during Obama’s first term. She is widely considered the favorite for the Democratic nomination for president, although she has not announced her candidacy.