WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuters) - A Republican-led U.S. congressional panel has formally asked Hillary Clinton to hand over her private computer server, ramping up scrutiny over her use of a personal email address while secretary of state.
Clinton has come under pressure for using a private address and email server rather than government systems while the country's top diplomat from 2009-2013.
The revelations reinvigorated an investigation by a Republican-led House of Representatives committee into the 2012 attacks on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya. Republicans contend Clinton did not do enough to prevent the incident.
Representative Trey Gowdy, who heads the Benghazi panel, said in a letter to Clinton's lawyer dated Thursday that she must respond by April 3 and agree to hand over the server. Otherwise, he would discuss additional steps for obtaining it with House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner.
Democrats on the committee accused Gowdy of being driven by politics, given Clinton's potential presidential aspirations.
The email issue has given Republicans new material to attack Clinton, widely seen as the Democratic 2016 presidential campaign front-runner, though she has not formally declared her candidacy.
Clinton has already given thousands of pages of work-related emails to the State Department. But many congressional Republicans want a neutral outsider to examine her email server and determine whether she handed over all relevant material.
Gowdy also has demanded emails from former Clinton aides and said he wants her to testify.
Gowdy said the committee would not examine any personal emails found on Clinton's server itself, but instead recommended the State Department's inspector general or another neutral figure look at them. (Reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Howard Goller)