On Saturday, October 17, the Central Intelligence Agency announced to staffers of the House Benghazi committee that the racous claim made by the committee chairman, Trey Gowdy (R-SC), alleging that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had received and forwarded emails containing classified information, was untrue. Here is part of that, now debunked, letter:
Democratic members of the committee had blamed Gowdy of spreading incorrect and misleading information about Clinton with this letter and his accusations. In the same letter above, he falsley claimed that Clinton had received classified and redacted emails from her close friend Sidney Blumenthal and forwarded them to a colleague. Gowdy asserted that she should have known they were classified, and that her actions jeopardized national security and human lives.
The CIA reviewed all 127 emails in question and found that not a single one of them needed to be made classified or redacted. This information was then given to Susan Sachsman Grooms, committee staff member and general counsel for the Democrats.
In a letter responding to Gowdy, Elijah Cummings (D-MD), another ranking Democrat on the committee, accused Gowdy of not checking the facts before releasing information. He wrote:
“I believe your accusations were irresponsible, and I believe you owe the Secretary an immediate apology…you placed your own redactions over the name of the individual with the words ‘redacted due to sources and methods’. To be clear, these redactions were not made, and these words were not added, by any agency of the federal government responsible for enforcing classifications guidelines.”
Cummings went on to say that no redactions were needed and Gowdy’s accusations were knowingly false. The letter further stated that the chairman had “brought disgrace” to and “undermined the integrity” of the Benghazi committee and the House of Representatives. The operating principle, he said, has been to attack Clinton for political reasons. This follows a claim by Republican committee member Kevin McCarthy (D-CA) that the purpose of the Benghazi investigation was to lower Clinton’s poll numbers. It seems like that scheme might be backfiring on them, now.