Benghazi scandal

Federal judge orders Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes to answer written Benghazi questions in Clinton email lawsuit

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that former national security adviser Susan Rice and former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes must answer written questions about the State Department’s response to the deadly 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, as part of an ongoing legal battle over whether Hillary Clinton sought to deliberately evade public record laws by using a private email server while secretary of state. U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth denied a request by the conservative group Judicial Watch to make Rice and Rhodes sit for depositions, but agreed to have them answer written questions. He also agreed to Judicial Watch’s request to depose the State Department about the preparation of talking points for Rice, then President Barack Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, ahead of appearances on political talk shows the Sunday following the attack. That deposition is part of Judicial Watch’s inquiry into whether the State Department acted in bad faith by not telling a court for months that they had asked in mid-2014 for missing emails to be returned. Rice initially claimed on several talk shows that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was triggered by protests over an anti-Islam video. The attack resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. “Rice’s talking points and State’s understanding of the attack play an unavoidably central role in this case,” Lamberth wrote in a 16-page order. Lamberth added that “State’s role in the [talking] points’ content and development could shed light on Clinton’s motives for shielding her emails from [Freedom of Information Act] requesters or on State’s reluctance to search her emails.” Lamberth also allowed Judicial Watch to seek written answers from Bill Priestap, the former assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. Priestap, who supervised the bureau’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server, retired from government service at the end of last year. “In a major victory for accountability, Judge Lamberth today authorized Judicial Watch to take discovery on whether the Clinton email system evaded FOIA and whether the Benghazi scandal was one reason for keeping Mrs. Clinton’s email secret,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Today, Judicial Watch issued document requests and other discovery to the State Department about the Clinton email scandal. Next up, we will begin questioning key witnesses under oath.” The judge’s order amounts to approval of a discovery plan he ordered last month. In that ruling, Lamberth wrote that Clinton’s use of a private email account was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency” and said the response of the State and Justice Departments “smacks of outrageous misconduct.” As part of the discovery, Judicial Watch can depose Jacob Sullivan, Clinton’s former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, and Justin Cooper, a longtime Bill Clinton aide who helped arrange the setup of Hillary Clinton’s private email address and server. Judicial Watch said the discovery period will conclude within 120 days. A post-discovery hearing will then be held to determine whether additional witnesses, including Clinton and her former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, may be deposed.

Drip drip drip…  With each new day, we continue to learn more about Susan Rice’s and Hillary’s lies to we-the-people as they tried to cover up their poor decisions and incompetence that led to the tragedy in Benghazi.  Ben Rhodes was just a Dem political hack, a “useful idiot,” who just repeated the talking point lie that the riots were a result of a reaction to an online video (that nobody saw).  Kudos to Judicial Watch for pushing this issue and using the courts to get answers we should have had years ago.

Jason Chaffetz: President Obama tries to re-write history on Benghazi

In a brazen attempt to re-write history, President Barack Obama in a speech on Friday blamed “the politics of resentment and paranoia,” which he said had found a home in the Republican Party, for “wild conspiracy theories – like those surrounding Benghazi.” What a reprehensible way to frame an event that killed four Americans while they waited for rescue and protection they deserved from people Barack Obama never sent. Of course, you only heard about Obama’s characterization of Benghazi if you pay attention to conservative media. By and large the mainstream press excluded references to Benghazi from their reporting of the speech. Kris “Tanto” Paronto, one of the heroes who watched his friends die that night in Benghazi, called Obama’s comments “disgusting,” tweeting: “Benghazi is a conspiracy @BarackObama?! How bout we do this,let’s put your cowardly ass on the top of a roof with 6 of your buddies&shoot rpg’s&Ak47’s at you while terrorists lob 81mm mortars killing 2 of your buddies all while waiting for US support that you never sent.” He’s right to be offended. The real conspiracy of Benghazi was the false narrative that the whole thing was the result of an offensive video – an objectively proven lie born from the resentment and paranoia within Obama’s own administration. They didn’t think the truth was compatible with getting Barack Obama re-elected six weeks after the attack. In reality, Obama himself contradicted this conspiracy narrative before he even left office. Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked him in April 2016 to identify the worst mistake of his presidency. “Probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do, in intervening in Libya.” At least he got one thing right: Benghazi (or what he euphemistically refers to as the aftermath of his war in Libya) WAS a terrible mistake. What it was not is a conspiracy theory. With President Trump methodically erasing the Obama legacy, this bizarre attempt to reframe the narratives around Obama’s greatest failures should fool no one. Barack Obama took us to war with Libya. His State Department refused multiple requests to meet minimum security standards at the Benghazi consulate. President Obama never sent anyone to rescue or protect our ambassador or our own people during the 13 hours they were under attack. Four brave men died as a result and many other heroes had their lives forever altered. That is not a conspiracy. That is fact – no matter how inconvenient Democrats may find it. This is one part of the Obama legacy that Trump should not erase. We all need to remember the lessons learned from Obama’s worst mistake.

Agreed!  Obama’s lies about his, and Hillary’s, epic failure with respect to Benghazi are unconscionable.  It shows just how much of a coward he is.  At best (and this is being WAY too generous), his and Hillary showed a spectacular lack of judgement and decision making when that horrific event happened.  If you’re an honest Democrat, that is the ONLY defense you can possible muster.  At worst, and this is FAR more accurate..there were a series of bad decisions, followed by a cover-up, and then when it was realized..Susan Rice was sent out to all of the major networks to lie about what they knew.  That is exactly how it all went down.  And, then.. When four brave Americans died as a result of this, Obama has the nerve in hindsight with the facts and videos out there to back it up…with his self-righteous, arrogant, metro-sexual manner to go out and suggest that the whole thing was a “Republican conspiracy?”  Seriously?!?  What a disgusting, nauseating tool…  Shame on you Obama…and shame on the media for not calling him out, to his face…on camera.  Thanks to former Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT, who was the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, for setting the record straight.

Petraeus gives closed-door testimony Saturday on Hill about Benghazi attacks

Retired Army Gen. David Petraeus is providing rare, Saturday testimony on Capitol Hill, talking privately with the Republican-led House committee investigating the fatal 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Petraeus was the CIA director at the time of the attacks and is testifying for the second time before the chamber’s Select Committee on Benghazi . He is expected to testify Saturday for three or four hours to “tie up loose ends” from his visit in early January, Fox News is told. The Sept. 11, 2012, terror attacks on a U.S. outpost in Benghazi killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith and two CIA contractors. The selected committee was formed in 2014 to investigate the attacks including whether the Obama administration failed to provide adequate security for the outpost, who committed the strikes and if officials tried to mislead the public by suggesting an online, anti-Muslim video sparked the attacks. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is now the 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner, testified in October 2015 before the committee, which has so far interviewed at least 75 witnesses. She also tesified before Congress on the matter in 2013. Democrats and others argue the committee’s interviews, subpoena requests and other, related activities are largely wasting millions in taxpayer dollars and is essentially election-season theater to hurt Clinton’s campaign. One of the major sticking points in the Benghazi inquiry focuses on the public talking points that the CIA drafted, particularly the role then-Deputy CIA Director Mike Morell played in writing them. Petraeus testified about the attack before the House Intelligence Committee in 2012, about two months after the Benghazi attacks..

Definitely something to keep an eye on…

Benghazi Victim’s Mother: ‘Special Place In Hell’ For People Like Hillary, “I Hope She Enjoys It There’

Patricia Smith, whose son Sean was killed in the 2012 terrorist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, responded to Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement about her being “absolutely wrong” by saying there’s “a special place in hell” for people like Clinton “and I hope she enjoys it there” on Thursday’s broadcast of the Fox Business Network’s “Intelligence Report with Trish Regan.” Smith said, “She lied to me. She told me it was a fault of the video. … And she knew full well it wasn’t at that time. And then she says, she was going to check, and if it’s any different, she would call me back. She would let me know. She has never once spoken to me, or her office. The only thing I ever got out of them is that I am not a member of the immediate family, and I don’t need to know.” She later added, “I want Hillary to talk to me personally, and tell me why there was no security there, when they were asked for it. I know this, because I spoke to my son. That day, he says he was really scared, because he saw the 17 people — 17 November, whatever it was, that they were walking around taking pictures. And he was afraid. He says it didn’t look very good. And he was afraid. And that he asked for security, and he was turned down.” When asked about criticisms that the matter had been politicized, Smith stated,”All I want is for Hillary to tell me what happened. What’s political about that? I think that as a mother, I deserve to know. And as a woman, as she says, she always talks about a woman, I am a woman too. I think I deserve to know why my son is dead.” Smith also stated that while she wasn’t surprised that Clinton was accusing her of lying, she didn’t want her government to call her a liar. Smith concluded, “I want to speak to her personally, and I want to be able to ask her what happened, and I want her to be able to tell me what happened. I don’t believe she’s got the guts to do that. As Madeleine Albright said, there’s special place in hell for people like her, and I hope she enjoys it there.”

Ya can’t help but feel this poor woman’s pain..  The way that Hillary handled that was disgraceful.  And, she hasn’t had the character to apologize to the families of those who lost loved ones in Benghazi…  After all, to her, “what difference does it make?”  It makes a LOT of difference you obnoxious, self-righteous, elitist.

Gowdy blasts Benghazi Democrats for delaying investigation

Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, blasted Democrats on his panel Friday for obstructing the investigation into the 2012 terror attack. “They can’t think of a single witness to interview,” Gowdy said of the Democrats during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “They can’t think of a single document to ask for.” Although the select committee has been conducting its probe since May 2014, it became increasingly divided as the presidential election heated up last year. The panel’s discovery that Hillary Clinton used a private email address and server thrust the investigation into the spotlight in spring 2015 and made it a target for Democrats supporting Clinton. Rep. Elijah Cummings, the committee’s top Democrat, has led public criticism of the probe and has even called on Congress to dissolve the panel. Cummings told CNN earlier that the investigation has not uncovered any new details about the 2012 attack that claimed four American lives. “It’s the same rehashing of information we already know,” Cummings said. “I think Republicans are trying to draw this out into this election.” The Maryland Democrat predicted the probe would stretch into the fall. But Gowdy dismissed suggestions that committee Republicans had invited delays in the investigation. “He’s spent more time talking to you than he has the agencies trying to get us the documents we’re entitled to,” Gowdy told Blitzer of his Democratic colleague. “We gave up negotiating with Elijah and went to the White House” to secure key witness interviews, Gowdy added. The South Carolina Republican predicted the Benghazi committee’s final report would be published sometime in April. He said the release would have come sooner if federal agencies had not stonewalled the committee on documents needed for the investigation. Gowdy noted the committee was still seeking about a dozen witness interviews, as well as two final tranches of documents.

Gowdy: ‘Most surprising’ Benghazi findings involve speed of admin’s response

Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said the “most surprising” part of his panel’s forthcoming report on the 2012 terror attack involves the question of whether the Obama administration had forces in position to intervene on the night of the raid. “If the president did say, ‘Do everything you can,’ and [Defense] Secretary [Leon] Panetta communicated that order to his command staff, ‘Do everything you can,’ both of those communications took place before 7 p.m. eastern time,” Gowdy said Monday evening during an appearance on the “Hugh Hewitt Show” radio program. “Why did the first wheel not take off for hours and hours and hours? That is the part that we are getting at that I would submit to you the other committees did not, and I think you’re going to be surprised by that part of the report.” Gowdy has repeatedly declined to discuss his committee’s specific findings ahead of the highly-anticipated release of its investigative report, which is slated for later this year. “When we issue our report, and hopefully it is coming sooner rather than later, I think that part of our investigation is going to be the most eye-opening, the most surprising and, frankly, will dwarf the other two tranches of Benghazi in terms of what we have been able to find,” Gowdy said. He has often described his panel’s investigation as involving three separate parts: what happened before, during and after the 2012 terror attack that claimed four American lives. Last week, the Benghazi committee received 880 pages of new documents from the State Department, including the emails of a top official who has been heavily involved in both the production of records to Congress and the agency’s own internal investigation of the Benghazi attack. Patrick Kennedy, State’s undersecretary for management, was in charge of the agency’s record-keeping practices and has been linked to a number of controversies that transpired under Clinton’s leadership at the State Department. The select committee began requesting Kennedy’s emails from the State Department in Nov. 2014, but a full year elapsed before the first records began to trickle in. More than a year after the select committee requested documents from the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies involved in the handling of the 2012 raid, lawmakers are still waiting on government officials to hand over records crucial to the panel’s investigation. Gowdy has said he hopes to wrap up interviews with Benghazi witnesses by February. Most of the witness interviews have taken place behind closed doors in transcribed sessions, leaving critics to argue in public about the partisanship of the probe. But Republicans on the committee contend the private nature of the sessions allow witnesses to be more candid with investigators than they would if the questioning took place in an open setting, such as the high-profile interview of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in October. Gowdy said Monday only one witness out of the dozens who have appeared before the committee ever refused to cooperate. That witness, Bryan Pagliano, set up the private email server in Clinton’s Chappaqua, N.Y., home that allowed her to shield her communications from the public until years after she left the State Department. He invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and declined to answer questions when summoned for an interview last fall. “There was a little bit of discussion about offering Bryan Pagliano immunity,” Gowdy said Monday. “There were some really notable folks on the side of offering him immunity from the legislative branch’s perspective.” The South Carolina Republican said he argued against extending immunity protections to Pagliano after his appearance in September because doing so might have interfered with the Justice Department’s investigation of the Clinton email network. “I was the only one saying, no, we should not do that,” Gowdy said. “I don’t want to do anything that jeopardizes an ongoing executive branch investigation.” Because Congress does not have the power to convene a grand jury or issue search warrants, Gowdy explained, “we are not the branch to conduct criminal or quasi-criminal investigations.”