Benghazi Panel to Hear From Blumenthal

(Reuters) – A U.S. congressional panel investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, on Friday said it would meet behind closed doors on June 16 to hear from Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime friend of Hillary Clinton who was an unofficial adviser while she was secretary of state.

Congressional investigators had issued a subpoena seeking testimony from Blumenthal. He emailed private intelligence reports to Clinton on events in Libya before and after the deadly attacks by militants that killed four Americans including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.

Blumenthal’s emails cited information from Tyler Drumheller, a former senior CIA officer. Some of Blumenthal’s emails discussed information Drumheller’s sources gave him about the Benghazi attack.

Blumenthal, a former senior adviser on President Bill Clinton’s White House staff, has pledged to cooperate with the Benghazi committee probing the attacks. The panel’s chairman, Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, says there are still many questions about what happened in Benghazi.

Democrats say Republicans are using the committee to try to discredit Clinton as she runs for president in 2016.

Blumenthal’s correspondence with Clinton was released to the public by the State Department last month as part of 850 pages of her emails having to do with Libya. Copies of these emails had been provided to the Benghazi committee months earlier for its investigation.

In the coming months the State Department also plans to release to the public thousands of other emails that Clinton sent or received on a private account she created and ran through a server based in her home.

Credit: Reporting by Emily Stephenson; editing by Sandra Maler, Bernard Orr