Who is really drawing out the Benghazi investigation?

posted at 7:21 pm on April 23, 2015 by Noah Rothman

On Thursday, the chairman of the select committee tasked with investigating the Benghazi attacks, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), followed through with his promise to compel former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to testify before the committee again.

In a letter addressed to Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, Gowdy requested that Clinton appear at some point in the third week of May to ask her about her exclusive use of a private email server to conduct State Department business. Unless the committee is satisfied with the documentation that they will require Clinton to submit to congressional investigators, they may also ask that she testify again regarding her response to the deadly 2012 attacks in Libya on June 18.

“Discussing Secretary Clinton’s exclusive use of private email with which to conduct public business is a necessary predicate to discussing the facts surrounding the terrorist attacks in Benghazi,” the letter addressed to Clinton’s legal team read.

Rather than respond to the Benghazi committee, Clinton’s campaign apparatus issued a public statement described by CNN as “blistering.” John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, insisted that reports indicating the Benghazi committee’s work would not be completed before early next year was “the most telling evidence yet that their investigation is solely about playing politics in the 2016 presidential campaign.”

“Sadly, Republicans are determined to continue to exploit this tragedy in an effort to try and hurt her campaign,” Podesta’s statement read.

But who is truly holding up the work of the Benghazi committee? “Gowdy and other Republicans are quick to point out that the committee’s time table is largely dependent on how long it takes to gather documents and testimony from Clinton and the Obama administration, factors outside of their control,” CNN reported.

By Clinton’s own admission, quite a bit of the documentation that the committee would like to peruse has been destroyed and will remain irretrievable unless she surrenders the server on which her private email system was hosted. But even if Clinton had access to the information the committee will likely want to see, it’s unclear that she has much of a motive to surrender it.

In the same way that her campaign team has attempted to portray the former secretary of state as a victim – and of The New York Times, no less – on the issue of her alleged facilitation of Russian nuclear ambitions in exchange for donations to the Clinton foundation, Hillary’s political team surely views the continued existence of the Benghazi committee as a boon to her political ambitions. Gowdy’s committee provides Clinton with a foil she might use to portray herself as the target of undue Republican persecution.

Surely, her supporters in the Democratic Party’s grassroots and in the press will agree with this characterization, but it is unclear that the majority of the public will agree. In the summer of last year, an ABC News/Washington Post poll showed that a majority of the public approved of the Benghazi committee’s establishment, and only 37 percent endorsed the former secretary’s handling of the attacks.

In December, a House Intelligence Committee review of the attacks (which was conspicuously deferential to the CIA) was particularly hard on Clinton’s State Department for ignoring the Benghazi outpost’s request for additional protection and the deteriorating security environment in Libya.

As for the spurious notion shared by many on the left that the committee is a perfectly superfluous vehicle to pursue a political witch-hunt, it was this committee’s investigation that uncovered Clinton’s dubious email practices in the first place. That discovery alone justifies any further probing into Clinton’s tenure at State.

For the sophisticated set inside the Acela Corridor, the Benghazi attacks have been thoroughly litigated and any continued investigation into that episode satisfies only Republicans’ desire to see Hillary Clinton diminished. In that determination, the consensus opinion of coastal elites is far removed from that shared by the rest of the country. Polls show the public does not agree that the Benghazi committee is a political exercise, and the fact that the investigation has already born fruit vindicates its existence.

The notion that Clinton is a victim of the committee’s partisan malice might animate committed liberals, but that is not a point of view shared by the rest of the public.


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Comments

Modern day millionaire thugs use core tactics like Capone and Co.

..yet, she is so beloved by liberals and the media everywhere.

Simply amazing..

celt on April 23, 2015 at 7:31 PM

If Clinton’s flying monkeys turn on her and stop running interference for her, then it’s over. Hasn’t happened yet.

RBMN on April 23, 2015 at 7:31 PM

Yesterday’s email from Killary’s campaign:

Friend —

It’s go time!

When we say this campaign is about every American, we mean it. We’re going to be in all fifty states and the territories right from the start. And that’s where we need your help.

Supporters like you are putting together events in every single state as part of our ramp up, and we want you to host one. Getting set up is simple: All you have to do is sign up, and an organizer in your area will be in touch to help you every step of the way.

If you’ve never volunteered before, this is an easy way to get involved — once you sign up, your local organizer will walk you through inviting people, setting the agenda for the event, and making sure yours is a success. And no worries, it’s completely free to host.

Why not go ahead and meet the other supporters in your area? You’ll be an important leader in building this organization in your neighborhood.

These are going to be some of our first big events, so don’t miss out. Watch this video about the program we’re building, then sign up to host an event:

Events like this are how we’re going to build the teams that will win this campaign. Hillary’s been on the road in Iowa and New Hampshire already, talking to supporters about getting involved in this campaign. Take your cues from her — start organizing now:

https://www.hillaryclinton.com/rampup/

See you out there,

Marlon

Marlon Marshall
Director of State Campaigns and Political Engagement
Hillary for America

22044 on April 23, 2015 at 7:33 PM

Lies kill.

More lies kill more.

Death is near for millions.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on April 23, 2015 at 7:34 PM

Shorter Hillary: The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy is making me withhold my documents and preventing me from going to DC in my Mystery machine van to testify.

rbj on April 23, 2015 at 7:35 PM

Sorry, but so far Gowdy has been unimpressive. He has matched Issa’s accomplishments.

GaltBlvnAtty on April 23, 2015 at 7:43 PM

What Benghazi investigation?

Just more circus circle-jerk entertainment …

ShainS on April 23, 2015 at 7:47 PM

Simply amazing..

celt on April 23, 2015 at 7:31 PM

I dunno..watch Warren throw her head dress into the ring and watch the lemmings jump.

Right now..it’s the one and only HRC. It’s HER TURN!!!!

Not a cult.

BigWyo on April 23, 2015 at 7:47 PM

I like Gowdy but the Repubs need to drop this investigation and focus on the most recent Clinton scandal. The CGI is ripe for Senate investigation, even the left is turning on her over it.

Scottie on April 23, 2015 at 7:49 PM

A billion dollars of corrupt money in her campaign ‘War Chest’ and she will still complain that she is the victim of misogynistic Republicans out to destroy her, as opposed to the opposite reality. Her end justifies all the campaign dinners consumed to grow it.

vnvet on April 23, 2015 at 7:50 PM

In the words of Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend’s wife:

What difference, at this point, does it make?

Galtian on April 23, 2015 at 7:59 PM

Until I see some results, I am forced to assume that Issa/Gowdy are part of the cover up on Fast and Furious, IRS targeting, and Benghazi.

Lerner, Koskinen, Holder, and Hillary would be in jail already if the lightweight blowhards like Issa/Gowdy weren’t “in on it”.

kpguru on April 23, 2015 at 8:00 PM

In a letter addressed to Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, Gowdy requested that Clinton appear at some point in the third week of May to ask her about her exclusive use of a private email server to conduct State Department business. Unless the committee is satisfied with the documentation that they will require Clinton to submit to congressional investigators, they may also ask that she testify again regarding her response to the deadly 2012 attacks in Libya on June 18.

Letter? What letter? I didn’t get no letter. What’s a letter?

Server? What server? I don’t have no server. What’s a server?

Opps I bumped my head and forgot everything having to do with letters and servers.

SpongePuppy on April 23, 2015 at 8:01 PM

Benghazi schmengazi. I wasn’t there. I was under enemy fire answering emails on my private server I didn’t have so I wouldn’t get mailed letters.

Beside at this point what difference does it make? Incarceratng me won’t undo the crime.

Please donate to the Clinton Foundation so we can stop those darn people taking donations from foreign interests against the US.

SpongePuppy on April 23, 2015 at 8:07 PM

Three Mottoes over Terrible Gates:

Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.

ARBEIT MACH FRIE

AT THIS POINT, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?

Benghazi~ the ointment progressives rub on their sorest spots.

profitsbeard on April 23, 2015 at 8:27 PM

She’s a witch. Burn her!

Missilengr on April 23, 2015 at 8:48 PM

Podesta plays hardball. His verbal gymnastics and stonewalling should be exposed every chance that those interested in justice and ethics can speak to the issues of Benghazi and other evidence of Hillary malpractice.

Hillary must be coerced into answering unresolved questions.

onlineanalyst on April 23, 2015 at 8:50 PM

People like this don’t have to answer to anyone. Never have, never will.

Reminds me of the Bill Murray character at the end of Kingpin…”I’m rich I’m rich! I can do whatever I want! Finally Big Ern is above the law!”

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 23, 2015 at 9:05 PM

Until I see some results, I am forced to assume that Issa/Gowdy are part of the cover up on Fast and Furious, IRS targeting, and Benghazi.

Lerner, Koskinen, Holder, and Hillary would be in jail already if the lightweight blowhards like Issa/Gowdy weren’t “in on it”.

kpguru on April 23, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Of course, because it’s unthinkable that these supposed scandals were simply all made up by the righty news echo chamber…

Tlaloc on April 23, 2015 at 9:11 PM

Of course, because it’s unthinkable that these supposed scandals were simply all made up by the righty news echo chamber…

Tlaloc on April 23, 2015 at 9:11 PM

Chris Stevens might disagree.

But he’s dead.

Having been abandoned by the traitors Obama and Hillary to his grim fate at the hands of psychotic jihadis.

Luckily, Libya has turned into a shining success story for the Obama Administration since that dark day.

The people there are now so happy and free that they take boating excursions in the Mediterranean for holidays to Italy.

profitsbeard on April 23, 2015 at 9:23 PM

I like Gowdy but the Repubs need to drop this investigation and focus on the most recent Clinton scandal. The CGI is ripe for Senate investigation, even the left is turning on her over it.

Scottie on April 23, 2015 at 7:49 PM

How about continuing with the first and also doing the second?
Never drop any investigation of corruption or malfeasance; it only encourages the perps to do it again.

AesopFan on April 23, 2015 at 10:00 PM

In the summer of last year, an ABC News/Washington Post poll showed that a majority of the public approved of the Benghazi committee’s establishment, and only 37 percent endorsed the former secretary’s handling of the attacks.

If these 2 questions were asked on the same poll, then the pollsters are either idiots or political operatives (for democrats).

The public approving of the committee’s establishment makes sense. Why wouldn’t the public want congress to do the job congress is elected to do?

The question of endorsing Hillary’s handling of the attacks is stupid on it’s face. Not one person in that 37% has a clue how it was handled, because she hasn’t told anyone how it was handled. If she had, they wouldn’t still be investigating it 3 YEARS LATER!!! Which means that 37% approve of anything she does, they don’t need to know what she actually did.

37% of those asked are abject idiots. And the pollsters asked such a stupid question just to provide political cover for the perpetrator. Is anyone surprised at any of this?

runawayyyy on April 24, 2015 at 11:06 AM