Benghazi Emails Put Focus on Hillary Clinton’s Encouragement of Adviser

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from The New York Times,

Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters last month that the memos about Libya she received while secretary of state from Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime adviser whom the Obama administration had barred her from hiring, had been “unsolicited.”

But according to officials briefed on the matter, email records that Mrs. Clinton apparently failed to turn over to the State Department last fall show that she repeatedly encouraged Mr. Blumenthal to “keep ’em coming,” as she said in an August 2012 reply to a memo from him, which she called “another keeper.”

All or part of 15 Libya-related emails she sent to Mr. Blumenthal were missing from the trove of 30,000 that Mrs. Clinton provided to the State Department last year, as well as from the 847 that the department in turn provided in February to the House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. The emails were reviewed by a reporter.

The missing email records — nine complete messages and parts of six others — were discovered after Mr. Blumenthal turned over to the House committee investigating the Benghazi attacks his own batch of Libya-related email correspondence with Mrs. Clinton.

Angered that the State Department had not already provided it with some of those emails, the committee asked the department whether it had received them from Mrs. Clinton. The department determined that it had not received all or part of 15 emails.

On Thursday, the State Department acknowledged the missing correspondence, but it did not specifically say which parts of those emails were missing.

Mrs. Clinton, who is running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, has maintained that she properly complied with the State Department’s request and with federal record-keeping regulations. In a statement posted on her campaign’s website last week, its chairman, John Podesta, said that Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the Benghazi committee, and the Republicans “are clinging to their invented scandal, one that’s on life-support.”

“Their latest witch-hunt is based on the testimony of a non-government employee and a set of documents he turned over, which Gowdy himself called ‘unvetted, uncorroborated, unsubstantiated intelligence,’ after hours of interrogation on the matter,” Mr. Podesta said, referring to Mr. Blumenthal. “That leaves one question that prominently remains: What, if anything at all, does this have to do with Benghazi?”

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