Republican Claims Not “New”: “Revelations” on Clinton Trip and Permanent Benghazi Facility Three Years Old
WASHINGTON—Republicans are touting as significant new revelations in their partisan report that Secretary Clinton was considering a trip to Libya in 2012 and that the Department wanted to establish a permanent facility in Benghazi.
Although many news outlets are reporting these as significant new revelations, they were actually disclosed three years ago at a public hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in May 2013:
Chairman Issa: I just want you to say it unambiguously, if that’s the correct way to say it without a flaw, one more time, the reason the Ambassador was in Benghazi, at least one of the reasons was X?
Mr. Hicks: At least one of the reasons he was in Benghazi was to further the Secretary’s wish that that post become a permanent constituent post. And also there because we understood that the Secretary intended to visit Tripoli later in the year. We hoped that she would be able to announce to the Libyan people our establishment of a permanent constituent post in Benghazi at that time.
In fact, CNN reported in 2013:
“At least one of the reasons he was in Benghazi was to further the secretary’s wish that that post become a permanent constituent post and also there because we understood the secretary intended to visit Tripoli later in the year,” Hicks said. “We hoped that she would be able to announce to the Libyan people our establishment of a permanent constituent post in Benghazi at that time.”
Unfortunately, reporters who were given leaked copies of the partisan Republican report were forbidden from discussing it with Democrats, who could have fact-checked this claim immediately.
As the Washington Post reported:
“The new detail is one of the few revelations in the several-hundred-page report the Benghazi committee is releasing Tuesday. After spending the better part of two years and more than $7 million, the panel headed by Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) is under pressure to show that its investment of time and taxpayer money was not wasted. Following several other investigations into the attacks, there’s not much left to know, but Republicans plan to highlight whatever new nuggets of information they can.”
Democrats issued their report yesterday along with all the available transcripts so the American people—and reporters—can see the underlying evidence first-hand to ensure the accuracy and integrity of our work.
The Democratic report explained:
In late August 2012, Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Hicks worked with Ambassador Stevens to prepare a draft proposal from Embassy Tripoli to Washington D.C. requesting that the Department establish a permanent branch office in Benghazi in order to “provide a permanent platform to protect U.S. national security interests in the region, and to promote a stronger, healthier and more vibrant bilateral relationship with the new, free, and democratic Libya.”