“By releasing the e-mails without the transcript, I am concerned the unfair mischaracterizations will only continue and perhaps get worse,” Cole wrote.
As we reported last week, Cole and Democrats on the panel called for Rep. Trey Gowdy (S.C.), the Republican leading the House investigation, to release the deposition transcript along with the e-mails. Not doing so, they charged, creates a biased, incomplete public record.
The 179 pages of e-mails made public include details about Libyan intelligence that Blumenthal says he was forwarding to Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time, from other sources “with direct access to the Libyan National Transitional Council…” In July 2012, she wrote back to one, “Greetings from Kabul! And thanks for keeping this stuff coming!”
In the days that followed the September 2012 attacks in the Libyan city that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Blumenthal e-mailed Clinton “intelligence” about what triggered the assault.
Gowdy defended releasing the e-mails, saying they weren’t included in the ones handed over, and made public, by the State Department, a matter he is now taking up with the agency to figure out why. But department spokesman John Kirby said during his daily news briefing that many of the e-mails are in fact the same, and suggested maybe others weren’t included because they weren’t deemed “Benghazi-related.” Gowdy says of the 179 pages, 120 — or roughly 60 e-mails— are new.
Gowdy also said that it is the committee’s policy not to release witness transcripts but that he will meet with other members of the panel privately to discuss it. Democrats called that stance hypocritical, saying it’s also unusual to release documents from an investigation.