Newly released email shows Hillary aide claimed they ‘wired’ the Benghazi hearings

Hillary Clinton’s now infamous “What difference at this point does it make” hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was a set-up job, according to the boast of her aide Philippe Reines in an email to Chelsea.  Catherine Herridge of Fox News writes:

Newly released emails suggest a senior Hillary Clinton aide stage-managed her first hearing on the Benghazi terrorist attack by feeding specific topics Clinton wanted to address to Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, who at the time was acting chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

"We wired it that Menendez would provide an opportunity to address two topics we needed to debunk (her actions/whereabouts on 9/11, and these email from Chris Stevens about moving locations,)" Clinton media gatekeeper Philippe Reines wrote to Chelsea Clinton the morning of the Jan. 23, 2013 hearing.  

Click here to read the emails

Recall that at the time, her performance at the hearing was regarded as a triumph, with the assembled senators cowed into silence by her angry words.  Only with the passage of time have people been able to examine her outburst in perspective and realize that it was a stunningly arrogant and callous thing to say about men who went to their deaths while she did nothing to send help their way for hours and hours and hours, as they struggled to survive until help arrived.

Ironies abound in the email, which was released only due to the efforts of Citizens United, which pursued a FOIA suit, not through the efforts of any law enforcement agency or politician.  David Bossie, the head of Citizens United, has just joined the Trump campaign, to the consternation of many on the left.  He has dogged the Clintons, investigating their chicanery since they moved from Arkansas to the White House, earning him the title of “Hillary’s Inspector Javert.”

Senator Menendez, who later crossed Obama and coincidentally got himself indicted, “accused of using the influence of his office to advance the business interests of a longtime friend and political supporter in exchange for luxury gifts, lavish vacations and more than $750,000 in campaign donations.”

But at the time of the hearing, Menendez followed the script, for all the good it did him.

Of course, what he did is entirely different somehow from what Hillary did, getting Laureate University invited to a high-level meeting sponsored by the State Department.

Right out of the gate, the first hearing question from Menendez that day covered both topics referenced by Reines.

Menendez asked for Clinton’s “insights on the decision-making process regarding the location of the Mission.” The senator added, “can you also in your response, you touched upon it in your opening statement, but what actions were you and your staff taking the night of September 11 and into September 12?"

The then-secretary of state had an answer on both fronts. She told the committee that "[Ambassador] Chris [Stevens] was committed to not only being in Benghazi but to the location," and that on the night of the attack, "I was notified of the attack shortly after 4:00 p.m. Over the following hours, we were in continuous meetings and conversations both within the department with our team in Tripoli, with the interagency and internationally."

For now, the Clinton camp is dummying up:

Fox News asked the Clinton campaign as well as Menendez's office if they coordinated before the 2013 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing; what was meant by the term "wired;" and how the email exchange was consistent with the principle of independent congressional oversight. Both confirmed receipt of Fox’s questions.  The Senator’s office said they would not be commenting.  The Clinton campaign said they would advise Fox if they decided to react to Reines’ email.

Of course, the idea that politics would play a role in a congressional hearing is not exactly new.  But it is also embarrassing that a claim to have “wired” a hearing (implying directly that the outcome or at least the process was determined by Clinton herself) reinforces the narrative that the system is “rigged,” as Donald Trump puts it.

Hillary Clinton’s now infamous “What difference at this point does it make” hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was a set-up job, according to the boast of her aide Philippe Reines in an email to Chelsea.  Catherine Herridge of Fox News writes:

Newly released emails suggest a senior Hillary Clinton aide stage-managed her first hearing on the Benghazi terrorist attack by feeding specific topics Clinton wanted to address to Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, who at the time was acting chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

"We wired it that Menendez would provide an opportunity to address two topics we needed to debunk (her actions/whereabouts on 9/11, and these email from Chris Stevens about moving locations,)" Clinton media gatekeeper Philippe Reines wrote to Chelsea Clinton the morning of the Jan. 23, 2013 hearing.  

Click here to read the emails

Recall that at the time, her performance at the hearing was regarded as a triumph, with the assembled senators cowed into silence by her angry words.  Only with the passage of time have people been able to examine her outburst in perspective and realize that it was a stunningly arrogant and callous thing to say about men who went to their deaths while she did nothing to send help their way for hours and hours and hours, as they struggled to survive until help arrived.

Ironies abound in the email, which was released only due to the efforts of Citizens United, which pursued a FOIA suit, not through the efforts of any law enforcement agency or politician.  David Bossie, the head of Citizens United, has just joined the Trump campaign, to the consternation of many on the left.  He has dogged the Clintons, investigating their chicanery since they moved from Arkansas to the White House, earning him the title of “Hillary’s Inspector Javert.”

Senator Menendez, who later crossed Obama and coincidentally got himself indicted, “accused of using the influence of his office to advance the business interests of a longtime friend and political supporter in exchange for luxury gifts, lavish vacations and more than $750,000 in campaign donations.”

But at the time of the hearing, Menendez followed the script, for all the good it did him.

Of course, what he did is entirely different somehow from what Hillary did, getting Laureate University invited to a high-level meeting sponsored by the State Department.

Right out of the gate, the first hearing question from Menendez that day covered both topics referenced by Reines.

Menendez asked for Clinton’s “insights on the decision-making process regarding the location of the Mission.” The senator added, “can you also in your response, you touched upon it in your opening statement, but what actions were you and your staff taking the night of September 11 and into September 12?"

The then-secretary of state had an answer on both fronts. She told the committee that "[Ambassador] Chris [Stevens] was committed to not only being in Benghazi but to the location," and that on the night of the attack, "I was notified of the attack shortly after 4:00 p.m. Over the following hours, we were in continuous meetings and conversations both within the department with our team in Tripoli, with the interagency and internationally."

For now, the Clinton camp is dummying up:

Fox News asked the Clinton campaign as well as Menendez's office if they coordinated before the 2013 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing; what was meant by the term "wired;" and how the email exchange was consistent with the principle of independent congressional oversight. Both confirmed receipt of Fox’s questions.  The Senator’s office said they would not be commenting.  The Clinton campaign said they would advise Fox if they decided to react to Reines’ email.

Of course, the idea that politics would play a role in a congressional hearing is not exactly new.  But it is also embarrassing that a claim to have “wired” a hearing (implying directly that the outcome or at least the process was determined by Clinton herself) reinforces the narrative that the system is “rigged,” as Donald Trump puts it.