NEW YORK – In a rush to exonerate Hillary Clinton in the deaths of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in the terrorist attack in Benghazi on Sept 11, 2012, the Democrats on the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued Monday a 339-page minority report, grabbing headlines in advance of the majority’s report.
“The State Department’s security measures in Benghazi were woefully inadequate as a result of decisions made by officials in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, but Secretary Clinton never personally denied any requests for additional security,” the Democrats’ report concluded.
The central charge of the five Democratic members of the committee was that the seven Republican members had only political motives in conducting the inquiry.
The report charged Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C, conducted the inquiry not to establish the truth about what happened in the Benghazi terror attack, but to keep Clinton from being elected president.
The majority report is expected to be released as early as Tuesday.
Among the Democrats’ arguments:
- The Defense Department could not have done anything differently on the night of the attacks that would have saved the lives of the four Americans killed in Benghazi, and although the military’s global posture prevented it from responding more quickly that night, improvements were made years ago.
- The State Department’s security measures in Benghazi were woefully inadequate as a result of decisions made by officials in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, but Secretary Clinton never personally denied any requests for additional security in Benghazi.
- The intelligence community’s assessments evolved after the attacks as more information became available, but they were not influenced by political considerations.
- Administration officials did not make intentionally misleading statements about the attacks, but instead relied on information they were provided at the time under fast-moving circumstances.
The Democrats on the panel insisted that Clinton was not generating a cover-up story when she said the Benghazi attack was merely a protest against an Internet movie slandering Islam.
The report cited Clinton’s 2014 book in which she argued that “later investigation and reporting confirmed that the video had indeed been a factor.”
The Democrats in their minority report continued to argue that the U.S. military “could not have done anything differently on the night of the attacks that would have saved the lives of the four brave Americans killed in Benghazi.” They repeated claims that no U.S. military assets could have arrived in time to save U.S. lives, even though the attack that began at approximately 9:30 p.m. local time lasted some14 hours, until early morning on Sept. 12, 2012.
The report’s major conclusion echoed a constant theme of Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking member of the select committee, charging the committee “squandered millions of dollars in a partisan effort to attack a presidential candidate.”
Republicans: ‘Democrats’ so-called report’
On Tuesday, Select Committee on Benghazi Press Secretary Matt Wolking released a statement regarding what he called the Committee Democrats’ “so-called report.”
He said their “obsession with the former Secretary of State is on full display.”
“For over two years they refused to participate in the Majority’s serious, fact-centered investigation,” he said.
“The dishonest Democrats on this committee falsely claimed everything had been ‘asked and answered.’ They said the committee had found ‘absolutely nothing new.’ If that’s changed, they should come clean and admit it. If not, everyone can ignore their rehashed, partisan talking points defending their endorsed candidate for president.”
Wolking also rejected the charge that the investigation was aimed at derailing Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
“As Chairman Gowdy has said, this is not about one person,” Wolking continued. “This investigation is about the four brave Americans we lost in Libya: Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty. That is how the Majority has conducted its thorough investigation, and we look forward to revealing the new information we have uncovered to the families and the American people.”
A press release issued by the Select Committee on Benghazi on May 18 provides evidence for the contention that the Obama White House and the Department of State under Hillary Clinton’s direction have refused to cooperate with investigative efforts to uncover the truth about the Benghazi attack.
In the statement, Gowdy charged the Obama administration’s serial delays in producing documents totaled more than 10,000 days, the equivalent of over 27 years.
“This committee’s thorough, fact-centered investigation has been repeatedly stonewalled by the Obama administration, Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, and Committee Democrats,” Gowdy said.
“Not only have they failed to identify a single administration witness worth talking to or a single document worth accessing in the past two years, they have affirmatively delayed the identification of witnesses and the production of unquestionably relevant documents,” he said.
Gowdy said the committee Democrats “have not lifted a finger to help the Select Committee speed up its investigation and release a report.”