House Democrats called on their Republican counterparts leading the investigation into the fatal attacks in Benghazi, Libya in 2012 to release the full transcript of Tuesday’s deposition of former Clinton White House aide Sidney Blumenthal.
“Committee Democrats have always supported transparency, so we request that the Chairman release the full transcript of today’s deposition with Mr. Blumenthal at the same time that he releases Mr. Blumenthal’s emails,” said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, ranking member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. “If Republicans truly believe in transparency, then they should have no objection to this course of action.”
Blumenthal testified Tuesday behind closed doors.
The committee issued a subpoena for Blumenthal and his emails after news reports indicated that presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton was sent information from Blumenthal about the situation in Libya during the civil war that led to the fall of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011. Blumenthal was a senior adviser to Bill Clinton between 1997 and 2001. Clinton sent some of that information to aides in the State Department, according to the New York Times.
Republicans said they discovered 60 new Libya emails between Blumenthal and Clinton, suggesting that the State Department or the presidential candidate withheld documents the committee had requested.
“Sidney Blumenthal produced to the Committee nearly 60 new emails regarding Libya and Benghazi,” Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. said. “These emails were not previously produced to the Committee or released to the public, and they will help inform...(the) deposition.”
Democrats have been complaining for weeks that the committee is taking too long in its investigation and just wants to hurt Clinton's chances in the 2016 presidential election
The Committee was established more than a year ago to investigate the attacks in Benghazi, and it has spent approximately $3.5 million in taxpayer funds to date, they say. It has lasted longer than multiple previous investigations, including the investigations of Iran-Contra, the Kennedy assassination, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Hurricane Katrina.
Cummings called on Gowdy to release Blumenthal’s emails.