Benghazi Committee Finds No Wrongdoing By Hillary, Says Hearings Weren’t About Her Anyway

After one of the longest witch hunts investigations in the history of Congress, the House Select Committee On Benghazi released its final report on June 28. While the report is critical of the military and the State Department, it finds no fault in the actions of President Obama, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And because they couldn’t find anything to torpedo Clinton’s candidacy for president, members of the GOP led committee are now saying that their investigation wasn’t about her at all.

In an attempt to pre-empt the report issued by the Republican majority on the committee, Democrats issued their own minority report on June 27. In the executive summary of their report, Democratic committee members describe how chairman Trey Gowdy refused to work with them to craft a bipartisan document.

We deeply regret that this report is not bipartisan. In May, we asked Chairman Trey Gowdy to work with us on a joint report with conclusions we could all agree on, followed by areas on which we may disagree. We also offered to provide him with a draft of our report in advance. But Chairman Gowdy mocked our request as ‘mildly amusing.’

The summary speaks at some length to Republican suggestions that Clinton failed to provide needed security to Ambassador Stevens and the staff at the Benghazi outpost.

Contrary to repeated Republican claims, not a single witness we spoke to identified any evidence that Secretary Clinton personally denied security requests in Benghazi. Five Republican House Chairmen first made this accusation in 2013, and Rep. Darrell Issa repeated it on national television. These and similar claims have been debunked repeatedly by the Washington Post Fact Checker, the Tampa Bay Times PolitiFact, and others.

And the Democrats mention what House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox’s Sean Hannity last September about the work of the committee.

The Republican plan was laid bare when Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy admitted on national television that House Republicans established the Select Committee to bring down Secretary Clinton’s poll numbers.

Now, after $7 million, two years, dozens of witnesses and 11 hours of testimony by the former Secretary of State herself, Republicans have been forced to admit that they have no evidence against Clinton. So they’re doing what Republicans always do — deflect. Committee press secretary Matt Wolking gave the following in a statement:

Benghazi Committee Democrats’ obsession with the former Secretary of State is on full display. For over two years they refused to participate in the Majority’s serious, fact-centered investigation. The dishonest Democrats on this committee falsely claimed everything had been ‘asked and answered.’ They said the committee had found ‘absolutely nothing new.’ If that’s changed, they should come clean and admit it. If not, everyone can ignore their rehashed, partisan talking points defending their endorsed candidate for president.

As Chairman Gowdy has said, this is not about one person. This investigation is about the four brave Americans we lost in Libya: Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty. That is how the Majority has conducted its thorough investigation, and we look forward to revealing the new information we have uncovered to the families and the American people.

Wolking criticizes Democrats for mentioning Clinton over 300 times in their report. But he doesn’t bother to say that the Republican report mentions her almost 200 times — quite a lot of references to a person that the GOP is now claiming wasn’t the subject of their investigation.

Speaking of Democrats’ claims that the hearings were outrageously partisan, here are the headlines of some of the press releases and blog posts issued through the majority’s committee webpage:

  • Statement on Democrats’ So-Called ‘Report’
  • State Department Continues to Defy Subpoena, Citing Bogus, Nonexistent Privileges
  • #DishonestDems can’t keep their misleading claims straight

And so another partisan Republican attack against Democrats comes to an inglorious end as they desperately try to save face by claiming that the central target of their investigation wasn’t even a target at all. Now, about those emails…

Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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