WASHINGTON — A close ally of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton turned over about 60 new emails to the House Select Committee on Benghazi ahead of his closed-door deposition there Tuesday.
The committee, which is investigating the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, is scheduled to depose Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal and will likely ask about emails he sent to Clinton about Libya. His memos, often about the conditions on the ground, have drawn scrutiny because he sent them while advising businesses interests there.
“The committee is interested in what role he played at the State Department and how his role was financed. Who was paying him and who was he paying? Basically, his business arrangements,” said a source familiar with the committee’s thinking.
Blumenthal produced the latest emails, about a 120 pages worth, in response to the committee’s request.
“These emails were not previously produced to the committee or released to the public, and they will help inform tomorrow’s deposition,” Chairman Trey Gowdy said late Monday night.
Gowdy said the committee is prepared to release the new emails in short order.
Earlier this year, the State Department turned over about 300 Benghazi-related emails to the committee. Asked why the new Blumenthal emails were not produced, Alec Gerlach, a State Department spokesman, said the department would need to see the emails before responding. The committee, he said, has not yet contacted the State Department about the emails.
“The department is working diligently to publish to its public website all of the emails received from former Secretary Clinton through the FOIA process. We provided the committee with a subset of documents that matched its request and will continue to work with them going forward,” he said. “Secretary Kerry has been clear that the State Department will be both transparent and thorough in its obligations to the public on this matter.”
By Chris Frates