Elections

Benghazi committee to release new Libya emails

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, during a campaign stop at the Westfair Amphitheater in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, during a campaign stop at the Westfair Amphitheater in Council Bluffs, Iowa. AP

The House committee investigating the 2012 fatal attacks in Benghazi that killed four Americans announced Thursday that it intends next week to release more of Hillary Clinton’s emails regarding Libya.

The emails indicate that Clinton’s longtime friend and adviser Sidney Blumenthal was pursuing business interests in Libya and that she Clinton, at least in one instance, was promoting them, according to the committee.

Blumenthal promotes the services of a company to provide training for Libyan rebels and urges Clinton to ensure the transitional government shows the same preferential treatment to U.S. businesses as they had pledged to French businesses, according to the committee.

In the emails, Blumenthal also criticizes the administration, including President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and National Security Advisor Donilon for its policy toward Libya and pushes for U.S. military engagement in Libya, according to the committee.

“It is curious Secretary Clinton took so much of her advice from someone who had never been to Libya, professed no independent knowledge of the country and who the White House blocked her from hiring,” Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said. “Any one of those should have been a red flag, but instead, she continued to solicit Blumenthal for advice.”

The State Department turned the emails over to the committee in late September. They would have been released as part of public records request for Clinton’s emails, which are being released each month under a court order.

Gowdy, R-S.C. said the committee will question Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination and secretary of state at the time of the attack, about the emails when she testifies in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi Oct. 22.

The committee, formed in May 2014, is now looking into Clinton’s use of a private email system, among other things.

Blumenthal testified in front of the committee behind closed doors in June. Democrats want Gowdy to release the transcript, but Republicans have not done so saying it would compromise the investigation. Republicans and Democrats have been bickering about the release of transcripts for weeks.

Several Democrats have called on House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio to disband the committee. Democrats attempted to do just that in a vote this week, but they were not successful.

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