Tag Archives: Trey Gowdy

Hillary Clinton’s State Department ignored 600+ requests for more security in Benghazi

Hillary Clinton look bored about the deaths of 4 Americans who asked for her help
Hillary Clinton bored by the deaths of 4 Americans who repeatedly asked for help

Moderate Republican Hugh Hewitt played the “smoking gun” clips on his radio show on Thursday night. The best questions came from Congressman Mike Pompeo and Congressman Jim Jordan.

CNS News has the full transcript of the Pompeo questions.

Mike Pompeo transcript:

POMPEO: “Do you know how many security requests there were in the 1st quarter of 2012?”

CLINTON: “For everyone or for Benghazi?”

POMPEO: “I’m sorry, yes ma’am. Related to Benghazi and Libya. Do you know how many there were?”

CLINTON: “No.”

POMPEO: “Ma’am, there were just over 100 plus. In the 2nd quarter, do you know how many there were?”

CLINTON: “No, I do not.”

POMPEO: “Ma’am there were 172ish – might have been 171 or 173. … How many were there in July and August and then in that week and few days before the attacks? Do you know?”

CLINTON: “There were a number of them. I know that.”

POMPEO: “Yes, ma’am – 83 by our count. That’s over 600 requests. You’ve testified this morning that you’ve had none of those reach your desk. Is that correct also?”

CLINTON: “That’s correct.”

POMPEO: “Madam Secretary, Mr. Blumenthal wrote you 150 emails. It appears from the materials that we’ve read that all of those reached your desk.

“Can you tell us why security requests from your professionals, the men that you just testified … are incredibly professional, incredibly capable people, trained in the art of keeping us all safe, none of those made it to you, but a man who was a friend of yours, who’d never been to Libya, didn’t know much about it – at least that’s his testimony – didn’t know much about it, every one of those reports that he sent on to you that had to do with situations on the ground in Libya, those made it to your desk?

“You asked for more of them. You read them. You corresponded with him, and yet the folks that worked for you didn’t have the same courtesy.”

Full recording (10 minutes):

Here are the details of Jim Jordan’s questioning from the Washington Free Beacon:

On the night of the attack, Jordan said, Clinton had a phone call with the president of Libya where she told him Ansar al-Sharia was claiming responsibility.

The next day, Jordan said, Clinton told the Egyptian prime minister something “significant,” where she acknowledged they knew the attack in Libya had nothing to do with any video.

“We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film,” Jordan read out from Clinton’s email. “It was a planned attack. Not a protest. Let me read that one more time. We know, not we think, not it might be, we know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with a film. It was a planned attack. Not a protest. State Department experts knew the truth. You knew the truth, but that’s not what the American people got. Again, the American people want to know why. Why didn’t you tell the American people exactly what you told the Egyptian prime minister?”

[…]Jordan showed with other emails that her top staffers were already discussing the political ramifications of the attack and how to respond. He said Clinton picked the option of a “video narrative” “with no evidence” because she wanted the Libya situation to be a key success story for the Obama administration.

“You did it because Libya was supposed to be this great success story for the Obama White House and the Clinton State Department, and a key campaign theme that year was GM’s alive, bin Laden’s dead, al-Qaeda’s on the run,” Jordan said. “Now you have a terrorist attack, and it’s a terrorist attack in Libya and it’s just 56 days before an election. You can live with the protest about a video. That won’t hurt you, but a terrorist attack will. So you can’t be square with the American people.”

Full recording (10 minutes):

Now, you will hear a lot in the mainstream media that Hillary Clinton took no damage and did a great job in the hearings. But that is a lie. And I’m going to cite Chuck Todd to explain what really happened in the hearings:

NBC’s Chuck Todd said former secretary of state Hillary Clinton “has no good answers” to offer Thursday on the Libya policy she was part of in the Obama administration when she testifies before the Benghazi Select Committee.

[…]“There’s two tough things that she has to deal with,” Todd said. “One is for 15 years, the State Department was told it had to improve embassy security. 15 years. This is four secretaries of state, and she along with three other secretaries of state didn’t do that. And second, it’s about Libya and the decision to go into Libya. That’s where she has no good answers.”

So two points. First, the State Department refused to respond to 600+ requests for additional security leading up to the attack. And even more important, Hillary Clinton told multiple people that the attack was a terrorist attack, days before she came out and said that the attack was a spontaneous demonstration caused by “an Internet video”. She told this to the family of the victims, when she knew that the truth was different. Why is this woman leading the Democrat primary? Do Democrat voters not pay attention to national security and foreign policy?

UPDATE: Stephen Hayes has a Weekly Standard podcast episode to comment on the hearings.

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Why did Hillary Clinton blame the Benghazi terrorist attack on an “Internet video”?

What difference does national security make?
What difference does national security make?

Who should I link to to prepare us to understand and discuss the showdown between the Benghazi Select Committee and Hillary Clinton? How about Stephen Hayes from the Weekly Standard – you can’t do better than that.

He says:

Critics of Clinton on Benghazi are most angry about the exchange she had with surviving family members at the solemn ceremony held to receive the bodies of the victims. Pat Smith, the mother of information specialist Sean Smith, who was killed in the attacks, says Clinton told her that the Obama administration would bring to justice the man who made the anti-Islam video that the administration initially blamed for the attacks. “She blamed the video just like all the rest of them did and she also told me she was going to get back to me.”

Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, a NAVY Seal killed in the attacks, says Clinton told him the same thing. “She said we’re going to have the person responsible for that video arrested. I knew she was lying. Her body language, the look in her eyes…I could tell she wasn’t telling the truth.”

But contemporaneous documents and testimony from US officials who were in Libya during the attacks make no mention of the video that would become the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s public narrative about the attacks. Indeed, in messages as the attacks unfolded and in the hours and days that followed, show security and intelligence officials immediately placing blame on al Qaeda and affiliated fighters and pushing back on suggestions from Washington that the video had played a role. Senior State Department officials, including Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, were copied on emails indicating Ansar al Sharia had claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Michael Morell, deputy CIA director at the time of the attacks, and a loyal water-carrier for the administration on Benghazi, testified that the video was simply not part of the intelligence picture during and after the attacks. “There was no mention of the video defaming the Prophet Muhammad as a motivation for the attacks in Benghazi. In fact, there was no mention of the video at all.”

Why did Clinton promise to pursue the filmmaker after the US government understood that the attacks were not a result of an out-of-control protest over the video?

Recall that Hillary Clinton blamed the Benghazi attack on “an Internet video”:

However, we now know that the top Democrats knew from the beginning that this was a terrorist attack:

Judicial Watch announced today that on February 11, 2015, it uncovered documents from the U.S. Department of State revealing that top aides for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, including her then-chief of staff Cheryl Mills, knew from the outset that the Benghazi mission compound was under attack by armed assailants tied to a terrorist group.  The documents were produced as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State ((No. 1:14-cv-01511).  The documents make no reference to a spontaneous demonstration or Internet video, except in an official statement issued by Hillary Clinton.

The Benghazi Select Committee was finally able to get 1300 e-mails sent by Ambassador Stevens (after two years of asking for them). Many of those e-mails requested additional security right before the attack, and they were ignored:

Two months before the fatal 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, then-Ambassador Chris Stevens requested 13 security personnel to help him safely travel around Libya… but he was turned down.

In the July 9, 2012 cable, Stevens reported that, “Overall security conditions continue to be unpredictable, with large numbers of armed groups and individuals not under control of the central government, and frequent clashes in Tripoli and other major population centers.” The cable said 13 security personnel would be the “minimum” needed for “transportation security and incident response capability.”

But a congressional source said Patrick Kennedy, a deputy to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, turned down the request. 

The cable sent under Stevens’ electronic signature shows that he was advocating for additional security and warning that the set-up did not meet State Department standards, as conditions deteriorated in the run-up to the attack that killed Stevens and three other Americans.

This hearing is about finding out why four people were left to die, even after repeatedly requesting additional security from the State Department. The same State Department that Hillary Clinton was in charge of. I hope we can find out why Hillary had so much time to read e-mails from Sidney Blumenthal, and apparently no time to read e-mails from Ambassador Stevens.

UPDATE: The Weekly Standard has posted a new podcast episode with Stephen Hayes on this topic.

UPDATE: Trey Gowdy’s opening statement:

Why did we need this investigation? Because previous “investigations” failed to find Ambassador Stevens’ e-mails, failed to find Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, and failed to interview people on the ground who had direct knowledge of the Benghazi security situation.

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Which candidate for Speaker of the House is the most conservative?

Republican Speaker John Boehner
Republican Speaker John Boehner

I waited a couple of days to write about Speaker Boehner stepping down. I was supportive of him for a while, but even with the majority, nothing was getting done. I wanted to see bills passed that were popular with the American public, that would be voted against by Democrats, and vetoed by Obama. That would have made clear where Democrats stood. It turned out that he was more liberal than I thought.

Right now, there are 4 announced candidates to replace Boehner:

Kevin McCarthy, who is very similar to Boehner, maybe a bit more conservative. He would be a continuation of Boehner’s “do nothing” legacy. According to the American Conservative Union, he has a lifetime rating of 90.43, and his most recent rating was 72, and prior to that 86. 100 is considered a perfect score. McCarthy IS considered good enough by Tea Party conservatives, but they would like someone better if they can get the votes.

Dan Webster is another moderate Republican who is running. I don’t know much about him. According to the American Conservative Union, he has a lifetime rating of 81.11, and his most recent rating was 72, and prior to that 88. Not good enough.

Tom Price, is an ideas man in the vein of Paul Ryan. He has been endorsed by Paul Ryan and Jeb Hensarling – two gurus on economic policy. According to the American Conservative Union, he has a lifetime rating of 96.89, and his most recent rating was 92, and prior to that 100. He’s my first choice.

Steve Scalise, who is a decent candidate, but he made the mistake of giving a speech to some weird racist group billions of years ago. A terrible mistake, because it is always being used against him no matter how sorry he says he is. Well, the truth is that you can be Obama and have a racist, America-hating pastor, but Republicans don’t get forgiveness for their mistakes. According to the American Conservative Union, he has a lifetime rating of 98.00, and his most recent rating was 100, and prior to that 100.

So, we have two good candidates. Price is my pick because we don’t need a conservative purist bomb-thrower, we need a conservative purist policy wonk who can craft policies that get votes from Republicans AND moderate Democrats. Things that get moved, things that get signed. Things that solve problems.

There is some effort to draft Trey Gowdy, because of what a great job he’s done on the Benghazi hearings.

The leftist Washington Post explains:

Whispers are everywhere that South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy will enter — or be drafted into — the race to be House majority leader, the second most powerful job in the Republican-controlled House. And Republicans (at least those in Washington) should be rooting like crazy for that to happen.

Here’s why: As I noted yesterday, changing out John Boehner as speaker for Kevin McCarthy as speaker (McCarthy is currently the majority leader) isn’t much of a change. Yes, McCarthy is younger and might be slightly more well-regarded among the younger and more conservative elements of the party than was Boehner. But  that’s not saying much. And no one would mistake McCarthy as of the tea party base. He’s an institutionalist who is likely to face lots of the same challenges that led Boehner to call it quits.

At the moment, the choices to replace McCarthy as majority leader are Rep. Tom Price (Ga.) and Rep. Steve Scalise (La.). Scalise is currently  majority whip; Price is the chair of the Budget Committee. Both are well-liked by conservatives — and got their starts from the conservative sinecures within the GOP conference. But both are already in prominent positions and neither is all that skilled as a television performer — a trait considered essential to jobs in leadership these days. (Scalise was also recent enmeshed in a controversy over his having appeared in front of a white supremacist group in the past.)

Gowdy is all the things Price and Scalise are not. He’s a regular — and a star — on Fox News Channel thanks to his job as chairman of the House select committee investigating the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012. He’s seen as the latest (and best) iteration of the tea party movement in Congress, someone who is committed to core conservative principles but is also adept at knowing which levers of power to pull when. (Gowdy is a former federal prosecutor.)

“If you want the best person to make the Republican case, if you want the best person to talk about why conservatism is the right answer for America, Trey Gowdy is our best foot forward,” Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz said during an interview on Fox News Channel on Tuesday morning.

But so far, Gowdy’s not biting. His lifetime rating is 98.67, this year he is 100, last year he had 100. It’s hard to say who I like better… Price or Gowdy. I’d have to give the edge to Gowdy, because I think we need a fighter to inspire the base. Later on, with a Republican president, we can have good ideas then.

Hillary Clinton used her private e-mail account to conduct State Department business

Wow. The ultra leftist New York Times just dropped a bomb on Hillary’s 2016 hopes.

Read it:

Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.

Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach.

“It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business,” said Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.

[…]Under federal law, however, letters and emails written and received by federal officials, such as the secretary of state, are considered government records and are supposed to be retained so that congressional committees, historians and members of the news media can find them. There are exceptions to the law for certain classified and sensitive materials.

The problem is, of course, that personal e-mails are not securely transmitted or securely stored. This is an incredible blunder that put our national security at risk.

Why did she do it? The leftist Washington Post has the answer:

The New York Times reported Monday night that, during her tenure at the State Department, Hillary Clinton never used her official email account to conduct communications, relying instead on a private email account. As the Times notes, only official accounts are automatically retained under the Federal Records Act, meaning that none of Clinton’s email communication was preserved.

She did it so that there would be no record of her e-mail communications should there be any investigations or inquiries. It’s sort of like Lois Lerner claiming that the dog ate her hard drive, and the hard drives of all her friends in the IRS. Only this is worse than that. At least we could get the Lois Lerner e-mails back from back-ups.

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air reacts:

According to the New York Times, Hillary Clinton never used the official e-mail system at all. When the time came to produce e-mails for the Benghazi probe, her aides “found” 300 or so that they chose to reveal years after the event — with no guarantee that these represent the entire record, or even a significant portion of it.

Clearly, Hillary had contempt for the mechanisms that provide transparency and accountability for government operations and officials. If any of her communications involved sensitive or classified material, Hillary may have broken more laws than just those dealing with archival of official records. This could very well be huge, and not just in relation to the 2016 election. Just what may have been gleaned by hostile intelligence services? What else may Hillary have been doing while at State? Congress needs to get to the bottom of this ASAP — and the Benghazi select committee should put Hillary Clinton under oath to demand answers about this.

Morrissey notes that the personal e-mail was set up the day of her Senate confirmation hearings for Secretary of State. This was not an accident, this was intentional. Planned. Deliberate. She did not want her e-mails to be on record. And we would never know about this except because Republicans set up a select committee to investigate. We are only finding these things out because of Trey Gowdy’s ongoing Benghazi investigation. Give the man credit. He was the right man for the job, and we are finally getting the answers we sought… a little bit at a time.

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House Republicans vote to hold Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress

From CBS News.

Excerpt:

The Republican-led House voted Wednesday to hold former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions related to the agency’s undue scrutiny of certain tax-exempt groups.

The vote to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress was 231-187, with all Republicans voting in favor and all but a few Democrats voting against.

It’s now up to a local U.S. attorney to consider criminal charges against Lerner. The Justice Department, however, has ignored past contempt charges against executive branch officials, including contempt charges against Attorney General Eric Holder.

[…]Republicans maintain they are determined to get to the bottom of the scandal and find out why IRS officials, starting in 2010, unfairly targeted groups for their political activity.

[…]In addition to holding Lerner in contempt, the House also voted 250-168 to approve a resolution calling on Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the IRS targeting.

According to Hot Air, “Lerner could face fines up to $100,000 and even a up to a year of jail time”.

In other news, Trey Gowdy, who is heading the new select committee on Benghazi, is kicking some serious ass.

Transcript fragment:

MEGYN KELLY: I know you said you intend to subpoena her, that you want her to appear before your committee. However, and I say this respectfully, the last time she appeared before Congress what we had was a series of speeches from the lawmakers, without that many probing questions. I hear that from my viewers often when we look back on those hearings. What would be different this time?

TREY GOWDY: Well, what will be different is I’m not necessarily committing to hearing. I’m committing to the getting the answers and may be in the form of a deposition, which, as you know, Megyn, as a very good attorney, which you once were, that is the route that is most conducive with eliciting the truth. It’s not five minutes of pounding your chest in a committee room. It’s a deposition.

MEGYN KELLY: Can she get out of that?

TREY GOWDY: Well, if she can get out of a subpoena, she can get out of it. But I don’t send invitations to cocktail parties. We’re going to send subpoenas and we’re going to expect her to comply and if you don’t comply, she’ll suffer the same panoply of consequences that any of your viewers who don’t comply with a subpoena would suffer.

I was hoping they were going to pick him to lead the committee, and I believe we are finally going to get some answers on this scandal.