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Kelly File

Gowdy on Clinton emails: 'Shame on me' if I trust the State Dept. to be neutral

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," March 9, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Joining me now, Republican South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy, who's chairman of the Select Committee investigating the Benghazi terror attacks.

Good to see you tonight, sir. And so, they said it right there on camera, they're not going to go back -- I'll get to Benghazi in a minute.  But they're not going to go back and look for responsive documents to subpoenas, to litigation inquiries, to Freedom of Information Act requests.  If you asked prior to the date Hillary's 55,000 pages were turned over a week ago or two weeks ago, you're out of luck.

REP. TREY GOWDY, R-S.C.: Well, the State Department is not going to be the final arbiter of that, Megyn. I have lost confidence, for varied reasons, not the least of which they missed every single opportunity over the past six months to tell us that not only did she not have an official email account, they didn't even have her records. You would think that that would come up in all the conversations that we had with the State Department, which is precisely why they are not the neutral third party arbiter that I would recommend the secretary turn her server over to so you can analyze it for forensics to see whether or not there's been any hacking or tampering.

Secondarily, I have no interest in emails about bridesmaids' dresses or wedding cakes. It's none of my business, and I don't want them. But public records are all of our business and that subsequent deals with Benghazi is particularly our committee's business.  

KELLY: How did you find out? I know you've been trying to get documents from the State Department on Benghazi in connection with your investigation. How did you realize that you were not getting anything from the secretary of state's direct mail?

GOWDY: Well, I am kind of slow, as you know having interviewed me in the past. So, in August we were seeing her personal email but no official email. And, again, we were having private conversations with the State Department in part because they told us they wanted a different kind of relationship. They didn't want an adversarial relationship with our committee. So throughout September and October where are the rest of our emails? Where are the official emails? They made another production. I finally and I don't know that this has been made public, but I'll tell you, I wrote a lawyer and said I need emails from your client. He referred me back to the State Department. So we learned the day before the New York Times article broke that she did not have any official email account and that the State Department had no idea whether or not we had all the records because they didn't have all the records.  

KELLY: So all that time when people were seeking information about Benghazi and other subjects in the State Department, no one was getting any email record of Hillary's that didn't come from the desk of a different State Department employee?

GOWDY: Yes. And we were being told the whole time, Megyn, you know, we need more resources, we need more time, can you please prioritize what you really need? I mean, we even had to have a public hearing with Joel Rubin because we weren't getting anywhere.

So the State Department had six months to have the conversation you and I are just having. Shame on me for it taking six months, but really shame on me if I trust the State Department to be that neutral detached arbiter of her records because they failed in the past to do so.  

KELLY: Last question, how are you going to up the ante? Because normally they do leave it up to the employee or her lawyer at least to offer a certification.

GOWDY: Well, you know, my committee does not have a power to seize tangible, physical items like a car or a server. The House itself does although that's an open constitutional question. What I think we ought to do, what I'm planning on doing, is giving her the opportunity to produce that server to a neutral independent arbiter, a federal judge, an archivist, an inspector general. It's not just my committee, Megyn, it's House Armed Services, it's Foreign Affairs, it's FOIA requests, these are public records. And if they don't, if they're not personal, if they're public, then she's not entitle to be the sole arbiter of who gets, what, when. If that doesn't work, then we will invite Mrs. Clinton to see the committee twice and not once. And the first time will be to discuss her email arrangement.

KELLY: You know, they say, well, normally they let the employee, you know, look at the personal emails but this is a different situation.  She chose to merge the two accounts. She chose to use only one email account for business and for personal items. And she chose to take all those emails into her possession and never have them on a state.gov server. And therefore she's created a situation where these questions now need answering. And hopefully they say maybe within the next 48 hours she'll try to. Although we'll wait to see in what forum and with what reporters and whether a Q&A is allowed.

Trey Gowdy, it's great to see you. Thank you for being here tonight, sir.  

GOWDY: Yes, ma'am, thank you.  

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