Score one for the Republicans.
The House committee investigating the fatal attacks in Benghazi, Libya announced Thursday that it had received 4,000 pages of new documents from the State Department.
Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. said he received the documents and notes from the State Department Benghazi Accountability Review Board, which was created by the department after the attacks to examine the administration’s response.
It is the first time ARB documents have been turned over to Congress. The documents have not been reviewed by the other groups that investigated the 2012 attacks.
“The Benghazi Committee continues to build the most comprehensive and complete record on what happened before, during and after the Benghazi terrorist attacks,” Gowdy said. “Contrary to those who said all had been asked and answered, the Benghazi Committee has shown there is more still for Congress to consider. The committee will provide the final, definitive accounting of what happened with regards to Benghazi, reaching conclusions based solely on facts.”
But it’s unclear whether the new documents will change what has already been known about the attack.
The Accountability Review Board report, released in 2012, found “systematic failures” in leadership that contributed to security lapses in the deadly attacks on U.S. posts in eastern Libya.
A Democratic committee aide downplayed the examination of the new documents.
“The Select Committee has received the work papers of the Accountability Review Board,” the aide said. “Not surprisingly, the work papers support the unanimous findings of the Board, which identified no evidence to support claims that Secretary Clinton ordered a stand-down, personally denied security requests, oversaw a covert weapons program, or any of the other wild claims Republicans have been making for months.”
The committee has received thousands of pages from the State Department and the Obama administration on its response to the attacks but is still waiting for additional documents and records requested or subpoenaed.
Clinton turned over 30,490 work emails to the State Department in response to a request from the agency, but said that she deleted another 31,830 personal emails that she said were about her daughter’s wedding, her mother’s funeral and yoga routines, among other things.
The Select Committee on Benghazi subpoenaed the emails while asking she voluntarily turn over her personal email server to a “neutral, detached and independent” third party for “immediate inspection and review” perhaps the State Department’s inspector general.
Clinton’s attorney told the committee she gave work emails to the State Department, then permanently deleted all emails from the server and refused to turn over the server to Congress.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives could vote to sue her to turn over the emails or her computer server. But legal experts say that could take years, well after the 2016 presidential race is over.