Gowdy-Cummings Exchange Shows Deep Rift on Benghazi Panel

October 22, 2015 5:04 pm  

(Newsmax) – A heated exchange Thursday between Republican House Benghazi committee Chairman Trey Gowdy and two top Democrats during Hillary Clinton’s testimony laid bare the acrimony between the two political parties over the panel’s investigation.

Gowdy, of South Carolina, clashed with Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings and Rep. Adam Schiff of California over whether a transcript should be released of Clinton confidante Sidney Blumenthal’s nine-hour testimony in June.

Blumenthal testified under subpoena in a closed-door session before the panel. He had emailed Clinton with information about what was happening in Libya during the attacks and also sent her news reports and other information.

The exchange began after Democrats objected when Gowdy asserted that Blumenthal had “unfettered access” to Clinton.

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Cummings, the committee’s top Democrat, then motioned for the transcript to be released.

Gowdy said the motion could not be voted on at a hearing, but Cummings disputed that — saying that House rules allowed the vote.

Here is part of the exchange, which came at the end of more than three hours of Clinton’s morning testimony:

CUMMINGS: “If you’re going to release the email, let’s do the transcript.”

GOWDY: “We’re not going to take that up at a hearing …”

CUMMINGS: ” … We have a right to record a vote on that motion.”

GOWDY: “Well, let’s go through that.”

CUMMINGS: “You asked for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Why don’t you just put that entire transcript out there and let the world see it! What do you have to hide?”

SCHIFF: “His are the only emails you have released. If you’re going to release his emails, release the transcript where he gives context for those emails.”

GOWDY: “Why is it you only want Blumenthal’s transcript released?”

CUMMINGS: “I’d like all of them released.”

GOWDY: “The survivors, even their names? You want that released?”

Before Clinton resumed testimony following lunch, the committee voted 7-5 along party lines not to release the Blumenthal transcript.

“The motion fails,” Gowdy said.


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