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Benghazi hearing: Hillary Clinton shows yoga poise through 11-hour stretch

Source: TheGuardian

House committee members turn on each other as Republicans fail to land a blow over former secretary of state’s conduct surrounding Libya consulate attack

It was supposed to be the pivotal moment of the presidential campaign, with Hillary Clinton finally facing the music after her controversial tenure at the State Department. But after a nearly 11-hour hearing on Benghazi, she walked away unscathed.

It seemed her biggest obstacle turned out to be a late-night coughing fit. Otherwise Clinton mostly calmly navigated Republican questions on her role before and after the 2012 terrorist attack on the US consulate in Libya where four Americans were killed, including the ambassador, Chris Stevens.
Unable to land a blow on Clinton, members of the committee rounded on each other. The first fireworks erupted about halfway through the day-long hearing when the two top members of the panel, chairman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and ranking member Elijah Cummings of Maryland, burst into a partisan shouting match. Clinton looked on with a bemused smile.
The House Republicans didn’t fail for want of trying. From the first question the battle lines were drawn. Representative Peter Roskam became irritated when Clinton looked at her notes as he asked her a lengthy question about a 2011 memo.
“I can pause while you’re reading your notes from your staff,” the irritated Illinois Republican said.
Clinton snapped back: “I can do more than one thing at a time, congressman.”
In contrast it seemed House Republicans were unable to push more than one narrative at a time.
Republicans zeroed in on emails Clinton exchanged with Blumenthal about the situation in Libya. The former White House aide made a tempting target. Nicknamed “grassy knoll” in the Clinton administration over his propensity for conspiracy theories, Blumenthal was reported blackballed from a State Department job under Clinton after two top Obama aides, including David Axelrod, threatened to resign.
Republicans focused on the fact that Clinton was constantly exchanging with Blumenthal, while harping on the fact that Stevens did not seem to have her personal email. Democrats were mystified. “I just don’t understand the preoccupation with Sidney Blumenthal,” said California Democrat Adam Schiff. “You would think he was in Benghazi that night manning the barricades.

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