The House Select Committee on Benghazi plans to issue a subpoena to Sidney Blumenthal, who served as an informal adviser to Hillary Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state. Blumenthal, who had business interests in Libya, was employed by the Clinton Foundation at the time.
The New York Times reported Monday that Blumenthal will be subpoenaed for a privately transcribed interview. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the chairman of the Benghazi committee, hopes to ask the former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton about memos he sent the former secretary of state regarding matters in Libya.
This is some of the information included in the memos Blumenthal sent to Clinton:
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- That Libyan rebels were considering hiring security contractors (April 2011)
- The threat of a terrorist attack in response to the killing of Osama bin Laden (2011-2012)
- The role of a business partner advising the new Libyan prime minister (January 2012)
- Warning forwarded to incoming Ambassador Chris Stevens, one of the four killed in the Benghazi terrorist attack (September 2012)
- Libyan prime minister wants a better relationship with Israel (August 2012)
The Times noted that the intelligence he gathered came from business associates he advised as they were looking to obtain contracts from the new Libyan government, efforts that ultimately were unsuccessful. The publication continues:
The projects — creating floating hospitals to treat Libya’s war wounded and temporary housing for displaced people, and building schools — would have required State Department permits, but foundered before the business partners could seek official approval.
It is not clear whether Mrs. Clinton or the State Department knew of Mr. Blumenthal’s interest in pursuing business in Libya; a State Department spokesman declined to say. Many aspects of Mr. Blumenthal’s involvement in the planned Libyan venture remain unclear. He declined repeated requests to discuss it.
“These latest moves by the Benghazi Committee-issuing a subpoena without first contacting the witness, leaking news of the subpoena before it was served, and not holding any Committee debate or vote-are straight out the partisan playbook of discredited Republican investigations,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking member on the Benghazi panel, said in a statement.
Gowdy told radio host Hugh Hewitt last month he intended to interview Blumenthal. “He is on the list … We are taking the witnesses from the Department of State and CIA whose identities need to be preserved, we’re doing them first, and those are transcribed interviews,” the South Carolina Republican said.
Then we are moving into the people who are more well known, the Susan Rice’s, the Ben Rhodes’, and yes, you can include Sidney Blumenthal.
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