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Clinton's Benghazi Testimony Was Far from Demure

As Democratic presidential front-runner, Hillary Clinton, was summoned to an all-day testimony on Thursday, the meeting was oftentimes heated and intense. Three hours into the hearing, Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and ranking Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) held a fiery exchange over whether testimony by longtime Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal should be publicly released. Clinton watched, while smirking.

Cummings yelled at Gowdy, “You asked for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Why don’t you just put that entire transcript out there and let the world see it! What do you have to hide?” Then, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), argued “His are the only emails you have released. If you’re going to release his emails, release the transcript where he gives context for those emails.” Gowdy promised that the Democrats would hear more about Blumenthal after the committee's break. The chairman then focused on Clinton's relationship with Blumenthal.

GOP Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.) voted against releasing the transcript, even though he had previously told The Hill that it “needs to be released.” Blumenthal’s ability to repeatedly email Clinton set him in a class apart, Gowdy and other Republicans insisted. Gowdy charged “It looks like certain things went straight to your inbox and other things did not,"--referring to the Ambassador Chris Stevens — one of the four Americans killed in the 2012 violence in Benghazi, Libya.

Democrats then accused Gowdy from not following through with the Benghazi Committee's mission to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terror attack in Libya. Gowdy also stated “We just heard email after email after email about Libya and Benghazi that Sidney Blumenthal sent to the secretary of State. I don’t care if he sent it by Morse code, carrier pigeon, smoke signals — the fact that he happened to send it by email is irrelevant. What is relevant if that he was sending information to the secretary of State!”

Blumenthal repeatedly emailed Clinton with information about the situation on the ground in Libya. Clinton responded that the emails were "unsolicited." She went on to say “He, like a number of my friends who would hand me newspaper articles or buttonhole me at a reception ... was trying to be helpful. Some of it was, a lot of it wasn’t.” After criticisms, Gowdy insisted “This is not a prosecution. This is an investigation.”

Photo: KIVI TV

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