Hillary Clinton's Buddy Subpoened By Trey Gowdy Over Secret Libya Intelligence Emails

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: May 20, 2015 9:00 AM
Hillary Clinton's Buddy Subpoened By Trey Gowdy Over Secret Libya Intelligence Emails

Yesterday the New York Times reported Hillary Clinton, despite denials by her attorneys, had two personal email addresses hosted on a private server that she used during her time as Secretary of State. One of those email addresses was used for communication with longtime brutal political operative Sidney Blumenthal, who sent Clinton intelligence on Libya.

According to emails obtained by The New York Times, Mrs. Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time, took Mr. Blumenthal’s advice seriously, forwarding his memos to senior diplomatic officials in Libya and Washington and at times asking them to respond. Mrs. Clinton continued to pass around his memos even after other senior diplomats concluded that Mr. Blumenthal’s assessments were often unreliable. But an examination by The New York Times suggests that Mr. Blumenthal’s involvement was more wide-ranging and more complicated than previously known, embodying the blurry lines between business, politics and philanthropy that have enriched and vexed the Clintons and their inner circle for years. While advising Mrs. Clinton on Libya, Mr. Blumenthal, who had been barred from a State Department job by aides to President Obama, was also employed by her family’s philanthropy, the Clinton Foundation, to help with research, “message guidance” and planning of commemorative events, according to foundation officials. During the same period, he also worked on and off as a paid consultant to Media Matters and American Bridge, organizations that helped lay the groundwork for Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Much of the Libya intelligence that Mr. Blumenthal passed on to Mrs. Clinton appears to have come from a group of business associates he was advising as they sought to win contracts from the Libyan transitional government. The venture, which was ultimately unsuccessful, involved other Clinton friends, a private military contractor and one former C.I.A. spy seeking to get in on the ground floor of the new Libyan economy. 

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At the same time that he was sending the memos to Clinton, the Times reported, Blumenthal was advising business associates who were hoping to win contracts from Libya's transitional post-Qaddafi government. The Times report did not make clear what, if anything, Clinton and the State Department knew of Blumenthal's involvement in any potential business projects in Libya.

Blumenthal served as a senior adviser to former President Bill Clinton between 1997 and 2001, but the Times reported that the Obama administration prohibited him from taking a job with Clinton's State Department team.

In short, Blumenthal was essentially running an off-the-grid intelligence operation surrounding Libya policy and he just so-happened to send information to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about his findings. To make matters worse, President Obama told Clinton when he nominated her for the position that Blumenthal was not allowed to be involved in any official government business during his administration (because he's shady).

Now, Blumenthal has been issued a subpoena by the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which is chaired by Congressman Trey Gowdy, to answer questions behind closed doors about the revelations.

The House select committee investigating the deadly 2012 Benghazi attack issued a subpoena Tuesday to former Clinton White House aide Sidney Blumenthal.

Committee spokesman Jamal Ware confirmed to Fox News that Blumenthal had been called to give a deposition before the committee.

Yesterday when asked about her relationship with Blumenthal, Clinton said he is a longtime friend and that she'll continue to communicate with friends as she moves forward with her presidential campaign.  

"He sent me unsolicited emails, which I passed on, in some instances," Clinton told reporters during a campaign stop in Iowa Tuesday. "I'm going to keep talking to my old friends, whoever they are."