On Tuesday evening, the House Select Benghazi Committee issued a subpoena for Hillary Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal to testify on June 3 before the committee.
According to a Reuters report, the subpoena “is dated Monday but carries a notation indicating an unnamed deputy U.S. marshal served it on Blumenthal’s wife on Tuesday.” Gowdy’s office confirmed that “Blumenthal has been called for a deposition by the committee.”
The committee issued the subpoena after a New York Times report delved into the various emails Blumenthal, the longtime Clinton fixer, sent Clinton while she was secretary of state. Gawker and ProPublica first reported, based on some of Blumenthal’s emails that hacker Guccifer published, that Blumenthal, along with others who wanted to do business in Libya as the nation was transitioning to a new government, sent Clinton intelligence briefings that she forwarded to other administration officials.
The Times noted, though, that Blumenthal’s involvement “was more wide-ranging and more complicated than previously known, embodying the blurry lines between business, politics and philanthropy that have enriched and vexed the Clintons and their inner circle for years.”
According to the Times, “much of the Libya intelligence that Mr. Blumenthal passed on” to Clinton seems “to have come from a group of business associates he was advising as they sought to win contracts from the Libyan transitional government.” The unsuccessful venture “involved other Clinton friends, a private military contractor and one former C.I.A. spy seeking to get in on the ground floor of the new Libyan economy.”
Though the Obama administration barred Blumenthal from a State Department post, the Clinton Foundation and the left-wing Media Matters had Blumenthal on their respective payrolls.
Clinton often forwarded Blumenthal’s intelligence reports to her deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan and, in at least one instance, to U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, who was murdered along with three other Americans during the Benghazi attacks.
On Tuesday afternoon in Iowa, Clinton said that she would continue to seek Blumenthal’s counsel if she is elected president. She said that she hears “from a certain small group of people and I’m going to continue to talk to my old friends, whoever they are.”
“I have many, many old friends, and I always think that it’s important when you get into politics to have friends you had before you got into politics, to understand what’s on their minds,” she said. “He’s been a friend of mine for a long time. He’s sent me unsolicited e-mails, which I passed on in some instances. I see that as part of the give and take. When you’re in the public eye, when you’re in an official position, I think you do have to work to ensure that you’re not caught in a bubble.”