Dems: Not voting to release Clinton aide's transcript is 'an abuse of power'

Dems: Not voting to release Clinton aide's transcript is 'an abuse of power'
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Democrats serving on the House Select Committee on Benghazi are chiding the panel’s chairman for not holding a vote on whether to make public the deposition of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHarris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests MORE confidant Sidney Blumenthal.

In a statement, the panel’s five Democrats said they are “disappointed” chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyHouse Dem calls on lawmakers to 'insulate' election process following Mueller report Democrats put harassment allegations against Trump on back burner Democrats seize on Mueller-Barr friction MORE (R-S.C.) “decided not to hold a vote today on releasing the transcript of Sidney Blumenthal’s deposition, particularly since we have no hearings, interviews, briefings, or other activities on today’s schedule.”

“We believe it is an abuse of power for Republicans to selectively release Mr. Blumenthal’s emails while at the same time withholding the deposition transcript from the American people,” they added.

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The statement comes a little over a week after Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the panel’s ranking member, said the select committee would vote today on releasing Blumenthal’s roughly nine-hour, closed-door interview.

But a GOP spokesman for the panel quickly shot down that idea, saying Gowdy had not scheduled anything relative to holding such a vote.

Gowdy and other Republicans have resisted making the deposition public, noting that the select committee hasn’t released the text of any of its previous interviews.

Democrats had expected to lose the vote, being outnumbered on the 12-member committee 7 to 5. But panel member Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) has said the deposition should be public, putting Democrats one vote away from getting it released.

Democrats believe the transcript will show GOP questions during the marathon, closed-door session were mostly political and not focused on the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including an ambassador.

"The fact is that the Select Committee has not held a public hearing in more than five months, and the taxpayers of this nation should be able to see for themselves how far beyond Benghazi the Select Committee has strayed in its glacial, politically-motivated, $3.7 million fishing expedition targeting Secretary Clinton," they said. "We urge Chairman Gowdy to follow the House rules and schedule the vote promptly.”