(Photo Credit: AP) The frontrunner for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination Hillary Clinton endured an 11-hour attack on Thursday by Republican lawmakers at the House Benghazi select committee.
The Republicans at the select committee have asked the same question in a variety of ways about why the former Secretary of State ignored security requests by Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya before the attack that killed him and three other U.S. officials at the Benghazi diplomatic compound.
Clinton remained cool and patient with the political attacks by Republican Chairman Trey Gowdy and other Republican members that were clearly out to get her and dampen her chances in the 2016 Elections.
According to Reuters, Clinton remained composed during the heated argument among Democrat and Republican committee members. She stated that it was “personally painful” to be accused of such allegations, because Ambassador Stevens was here friend and said “I’ve thought more about what happened than all of you put together. I’ve lost more sleep than all of you put together. I’ve been racking my brain about what could have been done, should have been done.”
She also denied Republican claims that she had dismissed security requests by the diplomatic team in Libya and said “I was responsible for quite a lot. I was not responsible for specific requests and security provisions. She also added that Ambassador Stevens has asked security professional experts for security requests and not the State Department.
Congressional Republicans also accused her of not giving Stevens her email, to which she replied that her work at the State Department was largely done by secure phone lines and that Stevens could have gotten her attention other ways 24/7.
According to Reuters, Democrat committee members were outraged by the Republican questions turning into a political zealot and the committee’s ranking member Democrat Elijah Cummings stated that the Republicans has set up this panel for a witch hunt. He said “They set them loose, Madame Secretary, because you are running for President. “ He was joined by Democratic Representative Adam Schiff who said “Your testimony has gone on longer than all our other hearings combined.”
Cummings and Gowdy also argued about Clinton’s connection with Sydney Blumenthal, a former advisor to Bill Clinton. Cummings requested Blumenthal’s testimony in front of the Benghazi committee to be made public, but the Republican committee members voted down the request.
The select committee has spent 17 months investigating the events before, during and after the attacks in Benghazi and has spent $14.7 million of taxpayer money to hear more than 50 witnesses and review related emails.
Hillary Clinton has passed a hard political test that was weighing in her trustworthiness, which was already at stake because of the controversy of her emails that turned out to be nothing more than a Republican shot for scoring cheap political points.