“These messages should have been made public when the State Department released Secretary Clinton’s other self-selected records on Libya and Benghazi,” Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said in the release issued on Thursday.
Gowdy said that the State Department had withheld the e-mails from the Committee’s investigation for nearly a year.
“[T]here was a clear decision at the time to withhold this information from the American people and the Committee,” he noted.
The e-mails revealed longtime Clinton loyalist Sidney Blumenthal had received her help to pursue business interests in Libya, the press release said.
On September 11, 2012, Islamic militants stormed the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi and killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other government employees, also injuring ten people.
Even though Blumenthal had no experience in Libya or had traveled there, he was Clinton’s “most prolific e-mailer on Libya and Benghazi,” the release said.
The previously undisclosed e-mails documented Blumenthal promoting US military engagement in Libya as well as the security services of a company called Osprey Global Solutions, according to the release.
The company was headed by one of Blumenthal’s associates that he said he hoped would help train Libyan rebels.
“It is curious Secretary Clinton took so much of her advice from someone who had never been to Libya, professed no independent knowledge of the country and who the White House blocked her from hiring,” Gowdy said in the release. “Any one of those should have been a red flag, but instead, she continued to solicit Blumenthal for advice.”
Following the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks, the congressional select committee was formed to investigate the people, events and circumstances that led to it.