Asked to turn over emails hosted on Hillary Clinton's private server for independent review, lawyer David Kendall told the House Benghazi committee the task was impossible because the relevant data had been permanently deleted, The New York Times reports.

"Thus, there are no emails from Secretary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state on the server for any review, even if such review were appropriate or legally authorized," said Kendall in a letter to the committee on Friday.

According to the Republican congressman who subpoenaed the emails, it appears that the messages were erased sometime after October, when Clinton aides personally determined which emails were required to be archived under the Federal Records Act.

"Not only was the Secretary the sole arbiter of what was a public record, she also summarily decided to delete all emails from her server ensuring no one could check behind her analysis in the public interest," said Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina in a written statement.

In December, Clinton gave the State Department about 30,000 emails her staff decided were part of the government record. Another 30,000 emails they viewed as personal were erased—permanently, it now seems.

"At the end, I chose not to keep my private, personal emails," Clinton explained earlier this month. "Emails about planning Chelsea's wedding or my mother's funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends, as well as yoga routines, family vacations, the other things you typically find in inboxes."

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