- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sidney Blumenthal, a former aide to President Bill Clinton and a key ally of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will testify before the House select Committee on Benghazi on June 16, the panel announced Friday. 

Mr. Blumenthal will answer questions about memos he drafted on Libya when Mrs. Clinton ran the State Department, Politico reported Friday. 

“This appearance before the Select Committee on Benghazi involves a witness deposition, which is typically done in private,” an advisory from the committee states, Politico reported. 

The session will be closed to the media and the public. 

Committee Chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, raised questions about Mr. Blumenthal’s involvement in the State Department’s response to the Benghazi attacks on Sept. 11, 2012. The Republican lawmaker did so after reviewing thousands of documents, which showed Mr. Blumenthal and the secretary traded frequent emails on the security and diplomatic climate in Libya before the attacks. 

Mr. Blumenthal was not employed at the State Department when he drafted the memos but he was being paid by the Clinton Foundation at the time, Politico reported

Mrs. Clinton had wanted to bring Mr. Blumenthal aboard at the State Department but his nomination was blocked because President Obama’s advisers distrusted the longtime Clinton aide. 

Instead, Mr. Clinton gave Mr. Blumenthal a $10,000-a-month job at the Clinton Foundation. 

Mr. Blumenthal also had several business interests in Libya and advised companies seeking contracts in the country, which led Republicans to question the independence of his advice to Mrs. Clinton during violent uprisings in the country.

Many of Mr. Blumenthal’s emails were based on information from unnamed sources he claimed were deeply connected in the Libyan and European governments. But his analysis of Libya was often met with skepticism by senior State Department staff when Mrs. Clinton forwarded them to aides, Politico reported.

Mr. Gowdy said he wants to interview Mr. Blumenthal to better understand how seriously Mrs. Clinton’s State Department took his advice on Libya, Politico reported.

 

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