The GOP probes of the 2012 Benghazi attacks and Hillary Clinton's unusual private-email arrangement are moving into higher-profile stages. Here are some important questions about the future of the inquiry that's unfolding against the backdrop of Clinton's presidential run.
When the Drip-Drip-Dripping Starts
This week, a federal judge nixed the State Department's plan for a huge, one-time release of Hillary Clinton's emails early next year.
But that leaves questions about when the bulk of the 55,000 pages will be made public. The judge told State to propose a plan next week for a "rolling" release of the documents, but when the rolling begins remains an open question.
A smaller group of emails related to Benghazi specifically are slated to be released in coming days, but the remainder will attract equally intense interest.
Clinton says she has nothing to hide and wants State to release the documents.
When Is the Main Event?
Another big question is when Clinton will make her long-awaited appearance before the committee.
The ball, depending on your view, is either in the court of Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, or the State Department.
Gowdy says he needs more documents from State showing communication among top Clinton State Department aides before he's willing to have a hearing, and he backed off plans to have Clinton appear in mid-May.
But for Democrats, who say multiple prior House probes have yielded plenty of information, Gowdy is simply stalling to push the high-profile event deeper into the 2016 campaign.
There's Just One Main Event, Right?
Gowdy, in correspondence with Clinton's attorney David Kendall last month, said he wanted Clinton to appear at two hearings: one about her unusual private email arrangement, and another on Benghazi.
Kendall's response? No way. "Respectfully, there is no basis, logic or precedent for such an unusual request," he told Gowdy in an early May letter. "The secretary is fully prepared to stay for the duration of the committee's questions on the day she appears."
Gowdy signaled that he's willing to back down from the two-hearing plan when he delayed Clinton's testimony. "Secretary Clinton is insistent she will appear once and only once before the Select Committee," he said last week. "The Committee must be equally insistent that her appearance is thorough and fully productive.
The GOP-led Select Committee this week subpoenaed longtime Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal to speak behind closed doors early next month.
But Republicans have a keen interest in others who were even closer to Clinton at State—including former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, the deputy chief.
When they will talk to the panel, under what conditions, and whether more subpoenas are in the offing are open questions.
Will Other Committees Get Involved?
Thus far, House leadership has kept a tight rein on the latest GOP investigations of Clinton, limiting them to Gowdy's special committee formed last year.
But now the intense interest among Republicans could prompt action in other committees.
The Hill reported this week that House appropriators are "threatening to shut down part of the State Department if the Obama administration doesn't cough up more documents related to Hillary Clinton's helming of the agency during the Benghazi attacks."
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.
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