The State Department has finally turned over to the Republican-run House Select Committee on Benghazi an estimated 1,000 pages of documents, according to military veterans group Special Operations Speaks (SOP). These are reported to include communication between Hillary Clinton’s aide and vice chairwoman for Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign Huma Abedin and US National Security Advisor Susan Rice.
The released documents include hard-copy emails from Secretary of State Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and Clinton aides Jake Sullivan and Human Abedin, as well as then-US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice. Mills is also working on the Clinton for President campaign.
The Benghazi committee chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told the press on Friday, “It is deplorable that it took over a year for these records to be produced to our committee, and that our Democrat colleagues never lifted a finger to help us get them. Shame on them and everyone else who has demanded this committee to give up before gathering all of the facts.”
“This investigation is about a terrorist attack that killed four Americans, and it could have been completed a lot sooner if the administration had not delayed and delayed and delayed at every turn,” Gowdy said.
Even now, according to Gowdy, “the committee still does not have records we requested over a year ago, and we are still waiting for some witnesses to be made available for interviews. As soon as possible, we will release our report and interview transcripts so everyone can see the evidence for themselves, and I’m confident the value and fairness of our investigation will then be abundantly clear to everyone.”
The requests for the documents that were delivered on Friday were made by the Select Committee in November 2014, with follow-up subpoenas issued in March and August 2015, when those requests were being ignored by the Obama administration.
The new yield of documents include work-related emails from the “personal email accounts” of Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, and others, which the State Department had in its possession since the summer of 2015.
The email exchanges between Clinton’s chief of staff with Huma Abedin, a long-time associate of Hillary Clinton (Politico described her as Hillary’s “shadow”) and the wife of disgraced NY Congressman Anthony Weiner, may be crucial to understanding the role Abedin will have in the Clinton White House, should the leading Democrat win in November.
Abedin was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1976, but at the age of two moved with her family to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where she was raised and lived until returning to the United States at age 18, to attend George Washington University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. She was employed by the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs, which her father had founded and made into a family business.
In a June 2012 letter to the State Department Inspector General, five Republican members of Congress alleged that Abedin “has three family members – her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations.” They suggested Abedin had “immediate family connections to foreign extremist organizations” which were “potentially disqualifying conditions for obtaining a security clearance” and questioned why Abedin had not been “disqualified for a security clearance.”
The claims in the letter were generally rejected and labeled as conspiracy theories, including by the ADL.
Last October, in a story headlined How Hillary Clinton’s Loyal Confidants Could Cost Her the Election, Vanity Fair writer Sarah Ellison noted that “Clinton is deeply reliant on Abedin, who, in addition to her other campaign responsibilities, occasionally fills in as tech support. In an exchange with Clinton, revealed in the State Department e-mails, Abedin walks her boss through a “secure” fax connection. The subject line from Abedin to Clinton reads, “Can you hang up the fax line, they will call again and try fax.” Clinton responds, “I thought it was supposed to be off hook to work?”