- The Washington Times - Monday, September 15, 2014

A former State Department official is claiming confidants of Hillary Rodham Clinton scrubbed files on the 2012 Benghazi attack before turning them over to the accountability review board, according to multiple news sources. 

Mrs. Clinton’s staffers separated politically damaging documents about Benghazi in an after-hours, weekend session in the basement of State Department headquarters, former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell told The Daily Signal.

Though he was not asked to participate in the document cleanup, Mr. Maxwell did know about the operation and decided to have a look. He told The Daily Signal that he saw boxes and stacks of documents. A top adviser of Mrs. Clinton told him that staff members were supposed to go through the files and “pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,” which included the secretary of state, he said.

He also said at least two top State Department officials were present during the operation.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican, said on Fox News that Mr. Maxwell told him and other lawmakers about the incident during a private interview last year. 

“What they were looking for is anything that made them look bad. That’s the way it was described to us,” Mr. Chaffetz told Fox News.

The State Department denied the accusations in a statement to Fox News. 

“That allegation is totally without merit. It doesn’t remotely reflect the way the [accountability review board] actually obtained information,” State Department spokesman Alec Gerlach said in the statement.

“The range of sources that the ARB’s investigation drew on would have made it impossible for anyone outside of the ARB to control its access to information,” Mr. Gerlach said, according to Fox News.

The House Select Committee on Benghazi is set to hold its first open hearing Wednesday.


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