Former Secretary of State and current Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, is testifying today on her involvement in the response to the 2012 attack on a U.S. consulate that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya; J. Christopher Stevens.
She will be grilled for approximately eight hours by the House Select Committee on Benghazi, chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC).
The controversial committee has come under fire from both Democrats and Republicans. It has been accused of being hyper-partisan, a waste of taxpayer money, and a political witch-hunt designed to destroy Clinton’s political career. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) unfortunate recent comments to Sean Hannity of Fox News, resulted in a media firestorm; giving validity to accusations that the select committee was just a Republican exploitation of an American tragedy in the name of political opportunism. McCarthy stated that, “everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, but we put together a Benghazi special committee; a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.”
From the very beginning of today’s hearing, Chairman Trey Gowdy sought to dispel the notion that the committee is a partisan weapon; declaring in his opening statement that, “this investigation is about four people who were killed representing our country on foreign soil.”
Former Congressional Black Caucus Chair, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), fired back in his own opening statement, defending Clinton against accusations of misconduct and inadequacy in her response to the attack. Cummings delivered a sharp rebuke of Gowdy and his allies, painting them as juvenile political opportunists. Cummings made no attempt to hide his disdain for many of his follow-committee members, as he made reference to Republicans who “continue to spin new conspiracy theories that are just as outlandish and inaccurate.”
Cummings ended his powerful opening statement with the following plea: “It is time for Republicans to end this taxpayer-funded fishing expedition. We need to come together and shift from politics to policy. We need to finally make good on our promises to the families, and we need to start focusing on what we here in Congress can do to improve the safety and security of our diplomatic corps in the future.”
Stay tuned for a post-hearing breakdown and analysis of the most crucial testimonies and statements.