Benghazi panel subpoenas former top Clinton aide

Hillary Clinton, Email, State Department
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The House Select Committee on Benghazi has subpoenaed Sidney Blumenthal, who served as an adviser to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The request by the panel investigating the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, demands Blumenthal appear before the committee June 3 to give a deposition, according to a copy given to Reuters.
{mosads}The document, dated Monday, bears a notation that shows an unidentified deputy U.S. marshal served the subpoena to Blumenthal’s wife Tuesday.
“I can confirm Mr. Blumenthal has been called for a deposition by the committee,” panel spokesman Jamal Ware told The Hill in a statement.
On Monday, the New York Times reported that the GOP-controlled panel was considering issuing a subpoena for Blumenthal to appear.
The panel’s interest was piqued in part by some of the roughly 300 email messages the committee received related to the 2012 assault that left four Americans dead, including the ambassador.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the panel’s top Democrat, decried the move.
“There was no need for the Select Committee to send two U.S. Marshals to the home of Sidney Blumenthal to serve his wife with a subpoena, especially since the Committee never bothered to contact him first to ask him whether he would voluntarily come in. These heavy-handed, aggressive, and unnecessary tactics waste the time of the U.S. Marshal service,” he said in a statement.
Cummings said the latest moves by the panel, including “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.”
“The fact is that we have had these exact emails for three months, and the latest abuses by the Committee are just one more example of a partisan, taxpayer-funded attack against Secretary Clinton and her bid for president,” he added.
Ware dismissed Cummings’ comments.
“Those who complain about the committee’s speed don’t get to complain when the committee cuts to the chase,” he said.
In the past, Cummings and panel’s four other Democrats have ripped the pace of the select committee’s investigation, which passed a year earlier this month, calling the speed “glacial.”
Speaking to reporters in Iowa on Tuesday, Clinton said she didn’t plan to distance herself from Blumenthal.
“I’m going to keep talking to my old friends, whoever they are,” the 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner said.
“He has been a friend of mine for a long time. He sent me unsolicited emails which I passed on in some instances,” she added.
“When you are in the public eye, when you are in an official position, I think you do have to work to make sure you are not caught in a bubble, and you only hear from a certain small group of people, and I am going to keep talking to my old friends whoever they are,” Clinton said.
A Clinton campaign spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
– Updated at 10:25 p.m.
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