False Statements Hillary Clinton Made To The Benghazi Committee

November 4, 2015

The House Select Committee on Benghazi's questioning of Hillary Clinton revealed several discrepancies between what Clinton has said and the facts.

While the mainstream media called the 11-hour briefing a tremendous success for the Democratic frontrunner for president, Clinton’s statements portray her as dishonest and untrustworthy. Rather than look at the accuracy of her answers, most media coverage focused on the style of her responses.

Clinton said that up to 95 percent of her emails were already stored on the State Department’s server because she emailed government accounts, which are automatically stored—unlike her own private account. When asked by Chairman Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) where she obtained this fact, which she mentioned numerous times in her testimony, Clinton cited the State Department. The following day, spokesman Mark Toner said the State Department did not provide that figure. An Inspector General report released in March said only 0.00006 percent of all emails were properly archived on State Department servers.

Clinton also said she turned over all of her relevant work emails from her time in Foggy Bottom, but the Benghazi Committee proved that false when Sid Blumenthal provided them 15 emails not included in the ones Clinton turned over. More emails between Clinton and Gen. David Petraeus were found later. When confronted about how she chose which emails to hand over to the State Department and which to wipe off her server, Clinton pointed to her team of lawyers.

The story of why Clinton was forced to turn her emails over to the State Department has also been refuted. She said she did so voluntarily, along with other former secretaries of state, to help "fill gaps" in the department’s records. In September, State Department press secretary John Kirby told the Washington Post that the department was made aware of Clinton’s private server by the Benghazi Committee, which requested she turn over all of her documents. They reached out to Clinton three months prior to contacting any other secretary of state.

From her first press conference to address her email scandal at the UN, Clinton said there was never any classified information contained on her private server and that no sensitive material was ever sent or received. Upon receiving her emails, inspectors general of intelligence agencies found highly classified information stored on Clinton’s server. The inspectors said the information was "classified at the time and classified now."

Despite saying that Blumenthal’s emails to her were "unsolicited," Clinton was rebuked by Gowdy for using her "old friend," whom the White House forbade from working for the State Department, as a valuable source of information in Libya. In several emails, Clinton asked whether Blumenthal had more information for her, forwarded along his memos to the White House, advocated for his policy ideas, encouraged him to keep up his emails, and appeared to assist him with a business deal.

Clinton said she was only going with information she received during the early hours of September 11, 2012, when she called the Benghazi terrorist attack an act of violence as a result of an anti-Islamic video. The Benghazi Committee discovered Clinton emailed her daughter, Chelsea, saying that she knew it was a terrorist attack. She also told the Egyptian Prime Minister over the phone she knew the video "had nothing to do" with the attack just hours after it occurred. Republicans allege the Obama administration wanted to blame the video to avoid exposing the president’s failed policy just before his reelection.

Published under: Benghazi , Hillary Clinton