On Thursday Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will testify as a witness in a 17 month long Republican led House investigation about the September 11, 2012 extremist attacks in Benghazi, Libya that hit 2 U.S. facilities and killed 4 Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The controversial $4.7 million dollar House investigation is aimed at examining the fact based series of events that occurred before, during, and after the Benghazi attacks.
The investigation will come into the spot light on Thursday and has faced some political pressure from some Republicans that are demanding answers about whether national security was compromised with Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail account while she served as U.S. Secretary of State and whether the security handling of the American ambassador and 3 other Americans during the September 11, 2012 Benghazi conflict was mishandled.
Democrats and even some Republicans, including New York Congressman Richard Hanna claim that that the House investigation is politically motivated.
“This may not be politically correct, but I think there was a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people, an individual: Hillary Clinton” said Rep. Hanna during an interview with a Utica, New York radio station.
The chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi is being led by Republican Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina), a former federal prosecutor, who is under pressure to conduct an objective investigation that doesn’t succumb to partisan motives at a pivotal time when Hillary Clinton’s political history and personal e-mail usage is still under the microscope during her presidential campaign.
Congress has already deal with 7 hearings on the Benghazi investigation thus far.
Speaking on Face the Nation aired on Sunday Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) was questioned by host CBS John Dickerson about the reason for yet another Congressional hearing about Benghazi and to explain if there are any new facts.
Growdy said that the other 7 hearings never bothered to access the e-mails of Ambassador Chris Stevens.
“So, if you want a window into Libya and what was happening in the weeks and months before these four were killed, why would you not look at the ambassador’s e-mails?” Growdy asked.
“I will give you a one-week time period in June. He’s just been put in place as the ambassador, just accepted, on June the 7th. And he is already asking for more security” Growdy said.
“On almost exactly that day, John, he is asked to read and respond to an e-mail from Sidney Blumenthal, who knows nothing about Libya” Growdy added.
When asked what these e-mail exchanges point to or represent, Growdy alluded to the lack of communication and coordination for better security measures in the volatile Benghazi region after Col Muammar al-Gaddafi was ousted from power in Libya with the help of a U.S. led air campaign.
“The total disconnect between what was happening in Libya with the escalation in violence, that we were a soft target, that there was an increase in anti-Western sentiment, that we were facing an uptick in violence while Washington is asking him to read and react to a Sidney Blumenthal e-mail, and help on how to message the violence” Growdy said.
Asked specifically about what he wants to know from Secretary Clinton during her testimony on Thursday, Growdy replied, “What I want to know is, while violence was going up in Libya, why was our security profile going down?”
Growdy said that he has 50 witnesses and 50,000 documents related to the Benghazi investigation but admits “we’re still missing large tranches of information from the executive branch and from this administration.”
Growdy insists that he only wants Clinton’s e-mails related to Libya and Benghazi so he can do his job.
Democrat Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) came to Clinton’s defense during Sunday’s Face the Nation interview and pointed out that there are also five Democrats on the Benghazi House committee.
Cummings said that Growdy dismissed the words of Congressman Richard Hanna (R-New York) and of his own hand-picked investigator who quit.
“But the fact is that he keeps saying, don’t listen to what they say, they don’t know anything” Cummings said.
Cummings showed the partisan focus that Growdy has displayed in the Benghazi investigation and emphasized that he has still not interviewed the heads of the CIA, Joint Chiefs, and the Secretary of Defense but he brought in Huma Abedin, an adviser to Hillary Clinton.
Cummings said that he believes that Mr. Gowdy is being pressured from the right and called on him to ensure that he releases all the transcripts of all 50 people who were interviewed since the majority of them are State Department people or Hilary Clinton’s former aides.
“So, when he talks about these 50 witnesses, we still have been zeroed in on Hillary Clinton. And that… there is absolutely no doubt about the, and it’s very unfortunate” Cummings said.
Later this week, Cummings will release the Democrats’ report containing excerpts from the various unclassified transcriptions.
Cummings said that their report will show Hilary Clinton was not involved with the decision to provide security on the ground in Benghazi and addresses the issue of whether she was responsible for elicit gun-running between Libya and Syria.
Cummings said that Hillary Clinton bears some responsibility about what happened in Benghazi but emphasized that she’s already taken responsibility for the mistakes and has turned in tens of thousands of pages of e-mails, more than any other secretary in the history of our country.
-Johnathan Schweitzer firstname.lastname@example.org