October 22, 2015
Perhaps the most difficult scrutiny of her life, over 10 hours and still counting, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to face questioning by the Select Committee on Benghazi as at the time of writing. The committee set up to investigate the 2012 killing of ambassador Christopher Stevens, demonstrates today it is not backing down without a fight.
The presentation by the committee shows what many have said that the inquiry into what happened in Benghazi has become a political issue designed to bring down Mrs. Clinton. More than 10 hours of questioning has produced nothing new and with the committee GOP members going back and forth on their attacks, it is clear the investigation is a sham and a witch-hunt.
After 17 months of investigation and about $4.5 million spent so far, the fact is, Americans may never know the truth about what happened that day in Libya. The marathon Congressional hearing has turned into a prosecution with top Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy as the chief prosecutor, while Democrats, Elijah Cummings and Lisa Sánchez serve as defense for Mrs. Clinton.
The Democratic Presidential candidate seemed collected and in control throughout the grilling, as both sides throw words at each other over relevance of some of the questions being asked.
Mrs. Clinton came under repeated criticism from GOP members who continue to attack her judgment on Benghazi and refuse to accept her explanations on why ambassador Stevens did not have a direct email to her, while her close associate Sidney Blumenthal had a direct link.
The hearing became a tug of war between Republicans who believe there are still questions to answer about the circumstances surrounding Mr. Stevens death and Democrats who think there are no more answers, while maintaining that the whole investigation is a plan by the GOP establishment to dent Mrs. Clinton’ Presidential ambition.
There were instances where Democrat members of the committee, asked Mrs. Clinton questions that allowed her to give lengthy answers in which she expressed her personal emotions about what happened in Benghazi. At one point during the investigation, Mrs. Clinton spoke movingly and almost choking back tears, when she talked about how Mr. Stevens died of smoke inhalation during the attacks.
Despite continuous argument by democrats that the investigation, has become a political persecution to destroy Mrs. Clinton’s presidential aspiration, Republicans on the committee, maintained that the panel has no partisan agenda. Once during the questioning, Rep. Peter Roskam accused Mrs. Clinton of using the ouster of Gaddafi to boost her political brand. In response, Mrs. Clinton called the accusation a political statement with no relevance to the investigation.
The heated exchanges between committee members highlighted what many have said that the whole investigation is no longer a matter of finding the truth about how four Americans died in Benghazi, but has become political shenanigans designed to discredit the candidacy of a leading democratic contender.
After watching the long grill, it is clear nothing new came up from the committee’ investigation. 72% of Americans now believe the inquiry, is partisan and part of a GOP conspiracy theory. Mrs. Clinton came to the inquiry to answer serious questions about what happened to four Americans but instead, the GOP turned it into a political exercise. With the performance today, Republicans have unknowingly endorsed Mrs. Clinton for President in 2016.
Adeyemi Oshunrinade [E. JD] is an expert in general law, foreign relations and the United Nations. He is the author of ‘Wills Law and Contests,’ ‘Constitutional Law-First Amendment,’ ‘Criminal Law-Homicide’ and ‘SAVING LOVE’ available on Amazon. Follow on Twitter @san0670.