By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, June 16, Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) announced that the Select Committee on Benghazi would be deposing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s longtime friend and close advisor Sid Blumenthal in closed door hearings.
US Representative Martha Roby said, “Today we are deposing Sid Blumenthal, an advisor with a unique relationship with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as part of our investigation on the Benghazi Select Committee.”
Rep. Roby continued, “Even though he was barred by the Obama Administration from jobs at the State Department, he continued to write to and advise Secretary Clinton on foreign policy, and notably on Libya. But questions remain as to who was paying Blumenthal for his advisory role. Was it the Clinton Foundation or political organizations to which his was contracted? Was it Libyan businesses to which he apparently had ties?”
The conservative Alabama Congresswoman said, “Further, it appears that once again the State Department has withheld information from Congress- an issue that we’ve consistently run into throughout this process. In the emails that Mr. Blumenthal turned over to us, it’s clear that there are emails related to Libya that were not handed over by State.”
Rep. Roby said, “I don’t know why the State Department continues to play this game. I think the Committee has shown we are committed to getting all the information, so giving us the runaround only drags out the process. These and other unanswered questions are what we are after in today’s discussion with Blumenthal and this Committee’s continued work. I’ll have an update for you when today’s deposition is finished.”
At the Hearings, Blumenthal presented documents to the Committee that previously had not been released to the various Congressional Committees that have been investigating the 2012 Benghazi incident.
The Chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) said to reporters, “I think it’s noteworthy that no committee of Congress that has previously looked into Benghazi or Libya uncovered these memos, and I will leave it to you to figure out whether there was a failure to produce on the former secretary’s part or a failure to produce on the Department of State’s behalf. Clearly the committee should have gotten this information sooner.”
Former House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrel Issa (R-California) attempted to enter the room where Blumenthal was being deposed but was reportedly escorted out by Chairman Gowdy.
On September 11, 2012, as Benghazi terrorists stormed our consulate there killing four Americans including the Ambassador to Libya. Critics allege that the Obama Administration did not do enough to prevent the attack by beefing up embassy security in Libya. They also charge that Obama did not act decisively during the attack to rescue the Americans trapped in a firefight that last hours and then allegedly tried to cover up details about the attack afterwards so as not to give GOP nominee Mitt Romney talking points in the weeks approaching the 2012 Presidential Election. Supporters of President Obama and Secretary Clinton deny many parts of this version of events.
After the nine hour hearing Blumenthal denied doing anything wrong. He told reporters, “My testimony has shed no light on the events at Benghazi nor could it because I have no firsthand knowledge of what happened there.” “I am longtime friend of Hillary Clinton. It seems obvious that my appearance before this committee was for one reason, and one reason only, and that reason is politics.”
This whole investigation remains tremendously politically charged because Secretary Clinton is running for President of the United States and appears to be the frontrunner in a Democratic Party field consisting of herself, US Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb, and Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee.
Secretary Clinton is a former Senator from New York and as the wife of former President Bill Clinton (D) has served as both the First Lady of the United States and as the First Lady of the State of Arkansas.
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.
(Original reporting by Breitbart’s John Hayward and ‘The Hill’s Martin Matishak contributed to this report.)