During a meeting Tuesday with the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Sidney Blumenthal told members in a closed-door deposition he was not the source of the any of the Libyan intelligence passed on to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Blumenthal was a top Clinton ally during her tenure as Secretary of State.
During the deposition Blumenthal could not verify any of the intelligence he forwarded to Clinton. Blumenthal claims he was merely copying and pasting intelligence from Tyler Drumheller, a former CIA operative who was looking into a business opportunity in Libya. Two sources familiar with the testimony told Politico that this was the source of information Blumenthal reported sending to Clinton.
“One of the folks providing her the largest volume of information was simply and merely a conduit of someone who … may have had business interest in Libya,” said panel Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) at the end of a nearly nine-hour interview. “We have a CIA, so why would you not rely on your own vetted source intelligence agency? In this case, there was no vetting, no analysis of credibility whatsoever,” Gowdy continues.
Republicans subpoenaed Blumenthal to figure out why he was sending Clinton intelligence in the first place. The investigators say that those emails sent by Blumenthal were referenced in at least 35 percent of Clinton’s emails about Libya.
Blumenthal and Democrats claim this deposition is nothing more than a political attack on the lead 2016 Democratic presidential candidate.
“It seems obvious that my appearance before this committee was for one reason and one reason only … politics,” he said, accusing the panel of “spen[ding] hours asking me questions about things that had nothing to do with Benghazi,” Blumenthal says.
When asked by Rep. Adam Schift if he had any knowledge of the events surrounding Benghazi, he said he did not have any information. On the other hand, Blumenthal was able to supply the committee with 60 new emails referencing Libya. These emails were not included in the packet sent over by the Clinton camp when her emails were requested.
The information in the emails has not yet been released to those outside of the committee. As a result, the State Department is not able to verify if the missing emails were an oversight by the Clinton camp, or if they simply did not request these emails initially.
The Clinton camp says those emails were not included because they only referenced Libyan politics, and not the Benghazi incident.[Politico]