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Clinton: Benghazi panel a ‘charade’

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The House Select Committee on Benghazi is a “charade,” Hillary Clinton’s campaign charges in a new video blasting the committee for wasting taxpayer money on politics.

“The Benghazi Select Committee is spending $8,000 a day in taxpayer money to keep digging,” the video says in on-screen text. 

{mosads}“How long will Republicans keep spending tax dollars on this political charade?”

The video, released by the campaign’s rapid response website, cobbles together clips almost exclusively from Fox News where anchors comment on the story or question politicians on the committee’s motivations. The only piece from another network, MSNBC, shows Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart on MSNBC arguing that the investigation has proved conspiracy theories over the 2012 attacks that killed four Americans to be false.

The Fox News anchors point out that the committee’s report will be delayed until the election year of 2016 and ask committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) why questions to former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal about Clinton’s 2008 campaign were “relevant.”

When asked whether he knows more about the attacks now after hearing from Blumenthal, Gowdy says on Fox News that “No, but I never expected Sidney Blumenthal to be able to tell me that anyway.”

The video came out the morning after the State Department released another batch of Clinton emails from her private email server that she used at State. Clinton gave State about 50,000 emails that she said could have been considered official, but deleted a similar number that she said were personal.

It’s the second video released by the team as part of its push back against criticism of Clinton. The first installment took on a controversial book that accused her of favoritism in the donations her family foundation has provided.

The video comes as Correct the Record, a super-PAC working with the Clinton campaign, is publishing a memo criticizing Gowdy for “inconsistencies” on his committee’s investigation.

The memo, given first to The Hill, juxtaposes Gowdy’s statement from April that subpoenas are “a little heavy handed” with the committee deciding to subpoena Blumenthal. It also criticizes the committee for leaking that subpoena and other information after stating in an interim report that “serious investigations” don’t leak. 

“Trey Gowdy’s repeated contradictions and inconsistencies show his desperation to politicize the Benghazi tragedy,” Adrienne Watson, the communications director at Correct the Record, told The Hill in a statement.

“It is a disservice to the four Americans who were killed in Benghazi for Gowdy to make this investigation about scoring political points for 2016.”

Watson added that Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), a member of the committee, has called for Blumenthal’s transcript to be released.

The memo also accuses the committee of politicizing the investigation through, among other charges, referring to Clinton’s use of a private email address as a “scheme to conceal” emails in a press release from March. 

Jamal Ware, a spokesman for the Benghazi committee, panned the criticism in a statement to The Hill, noting that the Tuesday night email disclosure included emails that have been classified.

“It is not surprising some would launch baseless, personal attacks against the committee chairman who exposed her unusual email arrangement with herself,” he said, referring to Clinton.

“Chairman Gowdy has said from day one the committee would go wherever the facts lead and the facts have led us here.”

He said Clinton’s “main points”— that she’s turned over all of her emails, that she didn’t solicit reports on Libya from Blumenthal, that she used one email for convenience, and that she received no classified information on the server — are “demonstrably false.”

“Instead of shameless political attacks, Secretary Clinton should stand before the cameras and answer questions for the American people and media about why she went to such unusual lengths to avoid public transparency and scrutiny and has not been forthcoming about her activities,” Ware added.

— This story was last updated at 1:36 pm.

Tags Hillary Clinton Trey Gowdy

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