Testimony from Hillary Clinton Benghazi hearing — in advance!
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi to find the “truth” behind the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11, 2012. Despite the fact that seven other congressional panels already have investigated the tragedy and have found no serious negligence, House Republicans felt the need for an eighth panel once it was clear that Clinton was running for president. Through the magic of time travel, we can see today how some of the testimony went:
PANEL CHAIRMAN TREY GOWDY (R, S.C.): Good morning, Madam Secretary.
CLINTON: Good morning.
GOWDY: I’m going to start this hearing by saying, on the record, that nothing about this hearing is political. Anything you’ve heard from three different Republicans that the purpose of the hearing is an attack on Secretary Clinton is wrong. They all just need to shut up.
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D, MD.): I suppose that’s why you had to return the donations from the super PAC that ran attack ads against the secretary? They ones that showed the graves of the four dead Americans? The ones that ran during the Democratic debate?
GOWDY: That had nothing to do with this hearing … This investigation is nonpartisan and fact-centric. Facts are neither red or blue.
CUMMINGS: Yeah, all that’s red here is your face.
GOWDY: (Glaring at Cummings) Well, Secretary Clinton, never before has a U.S. ambassador been killed before Ambassador Stevens was killed by terrorists in 2012.
CLINTON: Actually, that’s not true. I’d like to remind the committee that eight U.S. ambassadors have died in office, and five of them were assassinated by terrorists or rebel groups. Two died in suspicious plane crashes.
GOWDY: That can’t be true … (huddles with staff) Nevertheless, none of them died in an attack on an embassy or consulate.
CLINTON: Actually, they did. Three were killed at a U.S. or other country’s embassy, despite attempts at protection by military staff.
GOWDY: (Desperately) They were all appointed by Democratic presidents, right?
CLINTON: Do you really want to go there, Congressman? It’s half and half.
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R, TEXAS): (Barging into hearing room and interrupting) Yes, Benghazi was about politics! And I would love to know what the president was doing that night. … Apparently there was plenty of rest before he went to the fundraiser in Las Vegas the next day. Yes, my colleague is right: Benghazi was about politics! And we need to get to the bottom of why those four people were killed, while nobody in Washington that knew what was going on lifted a finger!
GOWDY: (Sighing) Rep. Gohmert, you’re not even on this committee. You want the Planned Parenthood hearing down the hall.
GOHMERT: Well, I already said all of that at the Planned Parenthood hearing, but nobody paid me any attention. (Gohmert is led away by staff)
REP. MIKE POMPEO (R, KAN.): Benghazi is worse in some ways than Watergate! All that happened there was a Nixon aide erased 18 and a half minutes of hours of recordings. But your emails …
REP. PETER ROSKAM (R, ILL.): Right! The last time we saw a high government official seeking to edit their own responses was President Nixon, and at least then he enjoyed the benefit of executive privilege.
CLINTON: You’re comparing me to Nixon? I’ve told the State Department to release all of my emails to the public.
POMPEO: This administration has fought us at every turn. No one in this administration can imagine what that attack in Benghazi was like. Why, when I was an Army captain–
REP. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D, ILL): Excuse me? I’m the only one on this committee who has ever been attacked in combat, and I think I know better than anyone here what that’s like. (Indicates wheelchair)
GOWDY: I’d like to remind everyone who the real victim is — me. In some ways these have been among the worst weeks of my life. Attacks on your character, attacks on your motives, are one thousand times worse than anything you can do to anybody physically — at least it is for me.
CLINTON: Buddy, you have no idea.
Note: Much of the dialogue comes from actual quotes from GOP members of the Benghazi committee. And Louie Gohmert, who apparently felt he needed to talk about Benghazi during a hearing on Planned Parenthood.