Ex-Clinton aide agrees to testify to Benghazi panel

Ex-Clinton aide agrees to testify to Benghazi panel
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A former adviser to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats seek leverage for trial Davis: Trump vs. Clinton impeachments – the major differences Sharice Davids to vote for Trump impeachment articles: 'The facts are uncontested' MORE has agreed to testify before the House select committee investigating the deadly U.S. consulate assault in Benghazi, Libya.

Sidney Blumenthal, in a statement provided by his attorney, said he would cooperate after the panel earlier this week subpoenaed him to appear by June 3, CNN reported late Thursday night.

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"From time to time, as a private citizen and friend, I provided Secretary Clinton with material on a variety of topics that I thought she might find interesting or helpful," Blumenthal said in a statement provided by his attorney. "The reports I sent her came from sources I considered reliable. I have informed the House Select Committee on Benghazi that I will cooperate with its inquiry and look forward to answering the committee's questions."

On Thursday, The New York Times released a batch of around 300 emails from the private server Clinton used while serving as the nation’s top diplomat.

The 2016 presidential contender received about 25 memos on Libya from Blumenthal, who had business dealings with the country’s transitional government.

He sent Clinton an email one day after the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks that killed four Americans, blaming them on “demonstrators … inspired by what many devout Libyans viewed as a sacrilegious internet video on the prophet" Muhammad.

Clinton forwarded that message to Jake Sullivan, her top foreign policy aide, calling it “more info.”

Blumenthal sent another memo the next day telling the secretary that “sensitive sources” believed it was actually a terrorist attack.

Clinton forwarded the second email to Sullivan as well, telling him, “we should get this around asap.”

Republicans have long chastised the Obama administration for its handling of the attacks and condemned the White House for initially blaming them on an anti-Islam Internet video.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Clinton downplayed how much influence Blumenthal, who served as a special assistant to President Clinton, had.

"I have many, many old friends, and I always think that it's important when you get into politics to have friends you had before you were in politics and to understand what's on their minds," she said.

"I'm going to keep talking to my old friends, whoever they are,” she added.

On Wednesday a member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi suggested that the panel could depose another longtime Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, soon.