Katie already mentioned that the Obama administration has turned over thousands of pages related to the Fast and Furious gun walking operation that turned into a shambles. Now, the House Select Committee on Benghazi received more than 1,100 written records from the State Department in response to requests and subpoenas over the work-related emails of Clinton’s inner circle when she served as Secretary of State. Clinton’s former Chief of Staff at State, Cheryl Mills, including her Deputy Chiefs of Staff Jake Sullivan and Huma Abedin, were included in the subpoena. Oh, and these requests for these documents were made over a year ago (Benghazi House Committee):
Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (SC-04) released the following statement after the committee today received from the State Department a production of more than 1,100 pages of records, including files stored on network folders used by senior employees within the Office of the Secretary, and emails from Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, Huma Abedin, Susan Rice, and Patrick Kennedy:
“It is deplorable that it took over a year for these records to be produced to our committee, and that our Democrat colleagues never lifted a finger to help us get them. Shame on them and everyone else who has demanded this committee to give up before gathering all of the facts. This investigation is about a terrorist attack that killed four Americans, and it could have been completed a lot sooner if the administration had not delayed and delayed and delayed at every turn. For example, the committee still does not have records we requested over a year ago, and we are still waiting for some witnesses to be made available for interviews. As soon as possible, we will release our report and interview transcripts so everyone can see the evidence for themselves, and I’m confident the value and fairness of our investigation will then be abundantly clear to everyone.”
Today’s production is responsive to a request made by the Select Committee in November 2014, and subpoenas issued in March 2015 and August 2015, and includes work-related emails from the personal email accounts of Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and Huma Abedin, which the State Department has had since summer 2015.
Prior to today’s production, the Select Committee had already obtained and reviewed more than 72,000 pages of documents never before seen by a congressional committee. Just recently, the Select Committee received more than 1,600 pages of documents from the Office of the Secretary of State and gained access to crucial CIA records it sought for nearly a year. After months of negotiations with the White House, the Select Committee was finally able to question both Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes, which no other congressional committee had done.
The committee has been a source of frustration for Democrats, who feel it’s a political stunt on behalf of Republicans. Last October, Rep. Kevin McCarthy made that point explicitly clear when he said that the committee’s work is hurting Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers; a statement that drew the ire of Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the chair of the Benghazi Committee, and Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who called McCarthy’s remarks “absolutely terrible.” Democrats saw an opening to possibly rid Congress of the Benghazi investigative venture by having Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) to put forward an amendment to dissolve it in the Rules Committee. It failed. She then tried to put forward a privileged motion to House members to dismantle the Benghazi Committee; that too was voted down along party lines.
Since then, Republicans have alleged that Democrats have wasted $2 million obstructing the effort to get to the bottom of what happened in Libya on the night of September 11, 2012. Republicans noted how Democrats on the committee haven’t produced a single new document request, or a witness to interview from the Obama administration. They have doled out thousands of dollars in bonuses to their staffers, while complaining that the Select Committee is a waste of the taxpayers’ money.
State Dept turned over 1100 pages of docs to Benghazi Cmte today, first requested in Nov 2014. #mosttransparentadministrationinhistory— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) April 8, 2016