Hillary’s post-inquisition celebration, in pictures

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reacts to reporters' questions as she exits the hearing room for a lunch break from testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington October 22, 2015. The congressional committee is investigating the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, when Clinton was the secretary of state. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gets up from the table during a break in her testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington October 22, 2015. The former Secretary of State on Thursday deflected harsh Republican criticism of her handling of the deadly 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, and urged her questioners in Congress to put U.S. national security ahead of politics. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is cheered by women members of Congress at the end of testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, laughs out loud after Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., asked Clinton if she was home alone during night of the 2012 Benghazi attacks during testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. After laughing out loud, Clinton said it was a bit of levity at 7:15 p.m., more than nine hours since the hearing began. She described conversations with other officials and said,

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New Iowa poll gives Clinton 11-point lead

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets members of the culinary workers union local 226 after speaking at a demonstration outside the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada October 12, 2015. The union was prot

Hillary Clinton has jumped out to a significant lead over Bernie Sanders in the latest Iowa poll from Quinnipiac. With Vice President Joe Biden taken out of the equation, Clinton now has an 11-point lead over Sanders, 51 percent to 40 percent.

This compares to results of a September 10 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University showing Sanders at 41 percent, with Clinton at 40 percent.
Today, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley gets 4 percent of Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants, with no other candidate even scoring 1 percent and 4 percent undecided.

So I guess Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee leaving the race won’t produce any kind of big shake-up in the results of the next poll …

In a poll released September 10, Sanders had led Clinton by 41 percent to 40 percent, so Clinton’s lead now does not come at Sanders’ expense. Rather, the fact that Quinnipiac

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Boy, the GOP really screwed the pooch yesterday, huh?

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks with U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD)(C, back to camera), as Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) (R) watches her depart, after testifying to the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill.

Loser Rep. Trey Gowdy looks on at our next president and—why not?—vice-president.

Random thoughts on yesterday’s riveting show:

  • I walked into the office and turned on the TV thinking I’d play the hearings in the background. Five minutes later, I was 100 percent sucked in. I said, “I guess I won’t be getting any work done today!” before realizing, “Holy shit, this IS my work!” So thanks to all of you for giving me the best job in the world!
  • I watched until the end. Fox News cut out hours early. That pretty much sums up who won. I didn’t stick around to watch the Cubs get swept by the Mets. I stuck around for this.
  • If anyone says anything about Hillary Clinton’s health …
  • Gowdy had a shoe-shine guy work on his face between questions. Seriously, a little powder is Going On Television 101. Superficial and stupid,

    Continue reading “Boy, the GOP really screwed the pooch yesterday, huh?”

Democrats get calls to quit the Benghazi Committee, but won’t say what they plan

House Benghazi committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) (L) and ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) debate the release of emails and transcripts of witness testimony as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (not shown) testifies before the House

Benghazi Committee Chair Trey Gowdy and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings

The Benghazi Committee’s big show is over, and Republicans made it clearer than ever that their interest is not in investigating what happened in Benghazi but in damaging Hillary Clinton. With Republicans having tried and failed to make Clinton snap or otherwise publicly humiliate her, what’s left for Democrats to do on the committee?
Democrats have said they agreed to join the committee to be in the room and know what Republicans are up to, and clearly on Thursday, they at times provided more aggressive pushback to Republican efforts at prosecuting Clinton than Clinton herself could engage in. But broadly speaking, we know what Republicans are up to. We know that Democrats won’t be able to get key documents made public, as Republicans will block any efforts at transparency. So far, Democrats aren’t saying what they plan to do:

Pelosi

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Here’s the major takeaway from Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony

Committee Chairman U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) speaks to reporters after questioning Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a day-long testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington October 2

This is what flop sweat looks like

It was a grueling session that spanned more than 11 hours, and boy howdy, it was worth it. Because when asked what new details had emerged from Hillary Clinton’s marathon grilling, Republican Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, said:

“Uh … In terms of her testimony? I don’t know that she testified that much differently today than she has the previous time she testified.”

Kaboom! Totally worth the $4.5 million of taxpayer money the committee has spent (so far).

After marathon day of Clinton testimony, Benghazi committee continues streak of partisan failure

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reacts as she stands up after her second round of testimony in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington October 22, 2015. The congressional committee is investigating

Today Rep. Trey Gowdy’s ongoing Benghazi investigation finally, at long last, reached a much-planned for day of questioning Hillary Clinton. Some highlights and lowlights from the long, long day.

  • Chairman Trey Gowdy kicked things off with a speech denying that his investigation was political, which was necessary because his Republican colleagues of late keep bragging that his investigation has been political. Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings disagreed, and let Rep. Gowdy know that.
  • Much of the questioning, indeed, revolved around who was emailing Hillary Clinton and how often. Gowdy himself focused primarily on the emails Clinton friend Sid Blumenthal sent Hillary Clinton, emails that were frequently “unsolicited,” and what the definition of “unsolicited” might be. This led to the unquestioned highlight of the hearing, a shouting match between Cummings and Gowdy when Cummings demanded a vote releasing the transcripts of Blumenthal’s own testimony to the committee so that the public could

    Continue reading “After marathon day of Clinton testimony, Benghazi committee continues streak of partisan failure”

Republicans still trying and failing to break Hillary Clinton on Benghazi

Committee Chairman, U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) arrives before Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is set to testify before his House Select Committee on Benghazi about the attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on

Benghazi Czar Trey Gowdy (R-SC)

If Republicans are trying to get Hillary Clinton to lose her cool, they’re failing. Some people involved in the Benghazi Committee hearing with Clinton are losing their cool, though: Republicans. By shouting and interrupting, people like Jim Jordan and Peter Roskam may have ensured that they would make the highlight clips of this long, long hearing, but … is that really what they wanted, to be shown yelling and ranting at a woman who’s admirably keeping her cool and answering their questions?

You can watch a live stream of the hearing here.

Previous coverage of the hearing can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

4:52 PM PT: Jim Jordan wants to talk about Clinton’s emails, to the point where some Democrat off-screen (Adam Smith, I think) breaks in and

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The GOP blew it with the Benghazi committee, and conservatives know it

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reacts as she stands up after her second round of testimony in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington October 22, 2015. The congressional committee is investigating the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, when Clinton was the secretary of state.         REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTS5PL5

Hillary Clinton celebrates during testimony break, because she’s killing it.

Ooh, it’s wonderful seeing conservatives deflate as the committee hearing goes on.

More schadenfreude below.

Marathon Benghazi hearing continues … will Republicans exercise the mercy rule for themselves?

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington October 22, 2015. The congressional committee is investigating the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission i

Two rounds of questions down, up to two rounds to go. What exactly are we going to learn in the final two rounds of questions? It’s a valid question, but consider how little we’ve learned through the first two. Are Republicans really saving their bombshell questions for the end of the day?

Here’s hoping they conclude that going all the way to four rounds of questions is to no one’s benefit and cut things short. Because frankly, the chance that Clinton will get tired and gaffe is probably smaller than the chance that one of the Republicans will get tired and gaffe.

You can watch a live stream of the hearing here.

Previous coverage of the hearing can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

3:35 PM PT (Barbara Morrill): Roskam has a theory. That Clinton took

Continue reading “Marathon Benghazi hearing continues … will Republicans exercise the mercy rule for themselves?”

The reason for the GOP’s Blumenthal secrecy finally revealed

Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) speaks during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee session at Capitol Hill in Washington June 20, 2012. The House Oversight and Government Operations Committee is considering to go ahead with plans to vote on

Never gonna get it!

We finally find out why the Republicans on the Benghazi committee have refused to release the entire transcript of Sidney Blumenthal’s testimony. Thank you, Rep. Adam Schiff of California. Congressman Schiff gave us a look at what he called “Sidney Blumenthal by the numbers,” and it’s clear the GOP doesn’t want the American public to know what they asked Blumenthal about—because it had nothing to do with the actual Benghazi attacks.
Here’s what mattered to their investigation:

•On Blumenthal’s alleged business activities in Libya: more than 270 questions
•On Blumenthal’s relationship with Clinton: more than 160 questions
•On the Clinton Foundation: more than 50 questions
•On David Brock/Media Matters: more than 45 questions

Here’s what didn’t matter:

•On the Benghazi attacks: less than 20 questions
•On security in Benghazi: only 4 questions
•On the U.S. presence in Benghazi: 0 (zip, nada) questions
•On Ambassador Stevens

Continue reading “The reason for the GOP’s Blumenthal secrecy finally revealed”

Can Republicans finally yield fireworks in Hillary Clinton Benghazi hearing?

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington October 22, 2015. The congressional committee is investigating the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission i

The Benghazi Committee Republicans have been trying all day, through around five hours of testimony, to produce a damning viral-quality clip to use against Hillary Clinton in her presidential campaign. Though they’ve produced plenty to make their base happy, they have yet to come up with anything that’s likely to broaden the appeal of their anti-Clinton argument. Instead, Clinton has been widely televised speaking emotionally about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi—again, nothing likely to sway her committed haters, but a good set of images to have showing up on the news.

Going into this, Republicans needed to show that the Benghazi Committee is not partisan and is seeking the truth rather than targeting Hillary Clinton. They don’t seem likely to have convinced many people of that. But they seem determined to ratchet up their questioning in hopes of getting Clinton to lose her cool. That could make the

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Important GOP questions: Did Chris Stevens have Hillary Clinton’s fax number and home address?

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes her seat to tesify in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi about the attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Capitol Hill in Washington October 22, 2015. REUTERS/Jonatha

Actual line of questions asked by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS).

  • Ambassador Stevens did not have your personal email address, we’ve established that. Did he have your cell phone number?
  • Did he have your fax number?
  • Did he have your home address?
  • Did he ever stop by your house?
  • Mr. Blumenthal had each of those and did each of those things.

Clinton’s responses: Stevens had a 24-hour State Department hotline and could have reached her through that at any time if needed. He had the State Department fax number. No, he didn’t have her home address and, that being the case, had not stopped by.

Pompeo clearly thinks the fact that Blumenthal had these pieces of information is some kind of ace in the hole. But Stevens was an employee of the massive government department Clinton headed. Blumenthal was a family friend of decades. Pompeo did not win this exchange, let’s

Continue reading “Important GOP questions: Did Chris Stevens have Hillary Clinton’s fax number and home address?”

Hillary Clinton Benghazi hearing continues … and continues

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington October 22, 2015. The congressional committee is investigating the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission i

Somehow, it goes on. Hours of testimony, nothing significant learned, and it goes on. Republicans have not gotten the kind of gaffe they wanted out of Clinton, and they will keep trying. If they can’t get that, they’ll settle for clips of themselves blustering enough to keep their base from being angry that they didn’t attack Clinton hard enough.

Throughout, Clinton has been a marked contrast to the committee members of both parties, as she has repeatedly become emotional in talking about Ambassador Chris Stevens. It’s a somber, personal tone that has been completely absent in, for instance, the occasional moments when Gowdy has remembered to stop acting as a prosecutor and pretend that these proceedings are about honoring the lives lost.

You can watch a live stream of the hearing here.

Previous coverage of the hearing can be found here, here, here, here, and here.

Continue reading “Hillary Clinton Benghazi hearing continues … and continues”

Benghazi hearing resumes with a promise of many more irrelevant political questions

House Benghazi committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) (L) and ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) (R) debate the release of emails and transcripts of witness testimony during former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's testimony before the House Select Co

Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony has gone on for three and a half hours so far and, at the break, most of the cable news talking heads seemed to feel Clinton had acquitted herself well while the committee Republicans needed to up their game. Unfortunately for the Republicans’ chances at coming out of this looking good, immediately before the break Chair Trey Gowdy promised much, much more talk about Sidney Blumenthal. Because talking endlessly about a guy who didn’t work for the Obama administration and who most people outside of D.C. political circles have never heard of is super accessible and likely to convince undecided listeners that the Republicans have a strong point!

Republicans keep insisting that they’re not carrying out a prosecution and then acting as prosecutors, which is a bad look on them particularly given House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s admission that the committee’s aim is to attack

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How political is the Benghazi hearing? Watch Gowdy refuse to release Blumenthal’s transcript

House Benghazi committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) (L) and ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) debate the release of emails and transcripts of witness testimony as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (not shown) testifies before the House

The most gripping video of the first three-and-a-half hours of Hillary Clinton’s testimony to the Benghazi committee came when the ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings, challenged GOP committee chairman Trey Gowdy to do a very simple thing: release the entire transcript of Sidney Blumenthal’s Benghazi testimony to the public.
Cummings: “I move that we put into the record the entire transcript of Sidney Blumenthal—(if) we’re going to release the emails, let’s do the transcript. That way, the world can see it!”

Gowdy: “Well, we’re not going to take that up at a hearing, we’ll take up… (cross talk) Why is it that you only want Mr. Blumenthal’s released?”

Cummings: “I want all of them released.” (There’s 54 in total.)

It goes on… dramatically. We still don’t know exactly why the Republicans are so obsessed with Sidney Blumenthal and the fact that he sent

Continue reading “How political is the Benghazi hearing? Watch Gowdy refuse to release Blumenthal’s transcript”

So far, Benghazi hearing is just what you’d expect: A political waste of time and money …

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens to a question as she testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington October 22, 2015. The congressional committee is investigating the deadly 2012 attack on

Hillary Clinton has made it through one round of Benghazi questioning in which about what you’d expect to happen has happened: Republicans have barraged her with conspiracy theories and nitpicky questions about wording and emails from people who didn’t work directly for her. Democrats have pushed back against Republican framing and pointed out the massive contradictions in Republican claims.

Chair Trey Gowdy has insisted that this is not a prosecution, while blatantly acting as a prosecutor.

Clinton herself has remained calm, administered the occasional slapdown, and patiently reminded people that she didn’t conduct most of her business through email.

And we’ve learned nothing new of any substance. And it will continue for hours.

10:17 AM PT (Barbara Morrill): Cummings’ demands that the entire transcript of Sidney Blumenthal be released. Gowdy says we’ll do it later, Cummings says the rules allow for a vote right now. Getting heated here.

10:20 AM

Continue reading “So far, Benghazi hearing is just what you’d expect: A political waste of time and money …”

The Benghazi inquisition continues, still no new news

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington October 22, 2015. The congressional committee is investigating the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission i

We’re now into the third hour of the Republican-led “investigation” of the attack in Benghazi in 2012 Kill-Hill waste of time and money currently underway on Capitol Hill.
You can watch a live stream of the hearing here

Previous coverage of the hearing can be found here, here and here.

9:32 AM PT (Kerry Eleveld): GOP Rep. Mike Pompeo thinks he has Clinton cornered, suggesting that members of Clinton’s “team” had met with Al Qaeda operatives in Benghazi shortly before the attacks. Clinton says she was aware of no such meetings. Pompeo calls it “deeply disturbing.” Clinton says, “I’m sorry, which ‘team’ is this?” Pompeo: “We don’t know exactly who… I don’t know which one.” Basically Pompeo’s got nothing. Clinton, unfazed, says she has no idea to whom he’s referring. Pompeo yields back his time, after getting quite possibly the biggest slap down yet.

9:47 AM

Continue reading “The Benghazi inquisition continues, still no new news”

Benghazi hearing starts with a whimper as Trey Gowdy sobs, ‘This isn’t about you!’ Clinton disagrees

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, on Capitol Hill in Washington October 22, 2015. The congressional committee is investigating the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission i

Chair Trey Gowdy, ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings, and Hillary Clinton have given their opening statements and questions have begun.

Gowdy’s opening was simultaneously defensive and prosecutorial and thoroughly political beginning to end, while being almost entirely about how non-political the committee’s investigation is. Cummings dismantled Gowdy’s claims to non-partisanship, which wasn’t hard to do. And Clinton put herself largely above the political fray, opening by speaking about those who died in Benghazi and making the case for American diplomacy despite the risks that diplomats have long faced and will continue to face.

As questioning begins, Rep. Peter Roskam stops and points out each time Clinton’s staff hands her a note. Clearly he thinks there are points to be scored here, though exactly what that might be is not clear, especially since Clinton remains poised and courteous in response to his bizarre behavior.

You can watch a live stream of the

Continue reading “Benghazi hearing starts with a whimper as Trey Gowdy sobs, ‘This isn’t about you!’ Clinton disagrees”

Hillary Clinton on Capitol Hill to face off with Benghazi Republicans

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens to a question from the audience at a campaign town hall meeting in Keene, New Hampshire October 16, 2015.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RTS4SCF

The day House Republicans have been building up to for months is finally here: Hillary Clinton is testifying before the Benghazi Committee that aims to destroy her. But where the Republicans expected to go into this moment with glee in their hearts as they got closer to their goal, things haven’t worked out quite the way they expected.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy kicked off their problems by saying that “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable right? But we put together a Benghazi Special Committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.” And then, lo and behold, the media started noticing that Chair Trey Gowdy’s had been on a partisan mission all along, leading to “among the worst weeks of my life” for Gowdy. Some in the media even started directly calling out Republican Benghazi lies.

And so by Clinton Testimony Day, three in

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GOP won’t stop investi-hating Hillary until they can prove she personally Bengahzi’d Vince Foster

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives for a question and answer session hosted by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in San Antonio, Texas October 15, 2015.   REUTERS/Darren Abate - RTS4NP0

“You wanted to see me, boys?”

Today’s the big day! Hillary Clinton will testify at the Republican-led hearing to determine what really happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, that the seven prior investigations into the Benghazi attack didn’t do enough to drive down Clinton’s poll numbers.
Yes, it’s almost time for Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi Trey Gowdy’s close-up. Gowdy will take the day off from fundraising off of the tragedy that took four American lives so he can continue to waste millions on his witch hunt that, by the way, three out of four Americans recognize as being politically motivated.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 AM ET and could “easily last until 8 p.m. or 9 p.m.,” so get your popcorn ready, it’s going to be a long day.