Benghazi Report: Prepare for Incoming

The big item Republicans have been hoping to use against Hillary Clinton is the whole Benghazi attack. Unbeknownst to them, they actually did her a favor by calling her in to testify at their infamous House committee hearing. Nothing Clinton has said before or since has done more to win over her skeptics than the eleven hours she spent demonstrating her competence and stamina in fielding every bit of nonsense they threw at her that day. Not only did we see someone who was well-prepared to be POTUS, it should have put all questions about Benghazi to rest…finally.

But now both the Democrats and Republicans on the committee have released their final reports. So it’s time to prepare for the incoming. We’ve watched as a lot of media outlets have tried in vain to produce a scandal out of this one (as well as the whole email situation). We’ll see a lot more of that with the release of these reports. As an example, Evan Harper at the LA Times takes a shot aimed at Clinton’s friend Sidney Blumenthal. Here’s the headline: House Democrats mistakenly release transcript confirming big payout to Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal. Sounds bad, huh?

What you’ll find is that the transcripts include members of the committee questioning Blumenthal about his finances. What the hell that has to do with what happened in Benghazi: nothing. Even Harper admits that it was all about political opposition research.

Contrary to what one might assume based on the headline, the line of inquiry didn’t have anything to do with the Clinton’s providing a big payout to Blumenthal. Committee members wanted to know how much he made in a contract with the news organization Media Matters and other outlets run by David Brock. The story here is that Blumenthal had a contract with them that paid him roughly $200,000 a year as a consultant. One might be tempted to compare that to CNN’s recent hiring of former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Perhaps we need a select House committee to investigate how much he’s getting paid.

This really is an old story. It went on for the entire 8 years of Bill Clinton’s presidency when Republicans insisted that they could produce a scandal and the media went along with it by chasing after every innuendo they could find. It’s a shame that we are still having to waste ink showing that it all amounts to one big nothingburger. But then, that’s precisely why Brock named one of his organizations, “Correct the Record.” For those interested in truth, that’s what is required.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.