Hillary Clinton breaks her silence in email row

US Democrat Hillary Clinton broke her silence over a budding controversy involving her use of personal email for work when she was secretary of state, saying she wanted the US State Department to release them swiftly.

Hillary Clinton breaks her silence in email row

Clinton’s statement was aimed at cooling a political firestorm over allegations that she inappropriately used her personal email for work while secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

“I want the public to see my email,” the potential 2016 presidential candidate said in a tweet. “I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.”

The controversy has suddenly put Clinton into trouble just as she is planning to launch a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. It has prompted some Democrats to wonder whether someone else should be their candidate to succeed President Barack Obama.

The State Department said it will review the emails provided by Clinton “using a normal process that guides such releases”.

“We will undertake this review as quickly as possible. Given the sheer volume of the document set, this review will take some time to complete,” spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

Clinton’s tweeted statement came hours after a congressional committee investigating the September 11, 2012, attack on a US diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, issued subpoenas for her emails.

The US House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Benghazi demanded all communications from Clinton related to the incident, in which a US ambassador was killed.

The panel also sent letters to internet companies telling them to protect any documents relevant to the ongoing investigation, Jamal Ware, communications director for the Benghazi committee, said in a statement.

Representative Trey Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the Benghazi panel, told reporters that within two weeks, he must either have the documents or a “really good explanation” for why not.

Republicans have been scrutinising Clinton’s actions and communications surrounding the Benghazi attack, when Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed. Republican lawmakers believe she did not do enough to ensure the safety of Americans in Libya.

Representative Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the Benghazi committee, said the Republicans’ actions have led him to believe they simply want to attack Clinton. He noted that Colin Powell, the secretary of state under George W Bush, a Republican, had used personal emails.

The email controversy appears to have caught the Clinton camp off guard when it erupted.

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