Benghazi Committee Screws Up Again

Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime confidant to former President Bill Clinton and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, arrives on Capitol Hill on June 16 to face questions from the House panel investigating the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.Susan Walsh/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Jeff Stein reports on yet another bad day for the Benghazi committee:

Already wobbling with accusations, some by its own Republican members, that it’s been running a Hillary Clinton hit squad since May 2014, leaders of the panel struggled Sunday to fend off new charges that they had mischaracterized the former secretary of state’s handling of sensitive intelligence.

Indeed, according to committee correspondence reviewed by Newsweek, the CIA did tell the panel on Saturday that it had reviewed 127 emails between Clinton and her close friend and outside adviser, Sidney Blumenthal, and none of it was deemed classified.

“The CIA reviewed the material in question and informed State that it required no redactions,” the agency informed Susan Sachsman Grooms, staff director and general counsel for the panel’s Democrats, on October 17.

What a shocker. Sidney Blumenthal didn’t have access to classified information. Who could have guessed?

Pretty much everyone, I suppose. But Blumenthal is a longtime Clinton confidante, and one of the great white whales of the Clinton inquisition of the 90s. When his name popped up, Republicans reacted like Pavlov’s dogs, panting and drooling despite the fact that there was zero chance Blumenthal had the slightest connection or insight into the Benghazi attacks. Still, it was Sidney! Gotta be a scandal in there somewhere.

But no. No scandal, no classified info, no favoritism. It was just Sidney doing what he does: offering information and advice—solicited or otherwise—to one of the Clintons. No worries, though. If it’s not Sidney, it’ll be someone else. Republicans are just sure they’ll find a blue dress in there somewhere.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend