Huma Abedin, clinton’s confidant testified on capitol Hill Friday before the Benghazi committee,just days before the former Secretary of State faces off with the panel she labeled as political attack arm.
The closed-door meeting came as committee Chairman
Trey Gowdy combats accusations from both sides of the aisle that the panel is political in nature and bent on targeting Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton. To that end, the committee took the rare step this week of announcing Abedin’s testimony Friday morning, stressing that she would only be questioned on issues relating to the committee’s core mission:
“The events leading up to, during and after the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012 and executive branch activities and efforts to comply with congressional inquiries into them.”
The committee stated that she would be asked questions based on the Benghazi incident and not deviate to other matters, including the controversy surrounding her employment status and how she was able to work for Clinton foundation and a consulting firm while still working at the state department.
At the conclusion of her testimony late Friday afternoon, Abedin told reporters, “I answered all their questions to the best of my ability and with that, I’ll be making no further comments.”
Gowdy later issued a statement saying Abedin had answered all the questions posed to her and “the information she provided will assist the committee in writing its final report.”
However the decision to question Huma angered the panel’s top Democrat, Rep Elijah Cummings of Maryland who argued that her knowledge of the attack at that time was minimal.
“She had no policy responsibilities, no operational responsibilities and was not with Secretary Clinton on the night of this phenomenal tragedy,” Cummings told reporters.
Sources told Fox News that Abedin was not evasive in her answers but has not been able to fill in information regarding all of the key timing and events related to Benghazi. Fox News is told that the Democratic side of the aisle tried to downplay Abedin’s role, noting she was not in the loop on creating the mission in Benghazi or involved in the security planning of U.S. resources there. But sources
say her close relationship with Clinton and prominent role at the department matters.
The committee previously questioned Clinton advisers Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan and Sidney Blumenthal at length.
These meetings serve as a prelude to Clinton’s highly anticipated testimony Oct. 22. In advance of that hearing, the Clinton campaign and fellow Democrats have gone on the offensive, charging that the committee has a political agenda. The accusations were fueled after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy seemed to link Clinton’s slipping poll numbers to the committee’s work, and again after Rep.
Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., said it was “designed to go after people” including Clinton.
At Tuesday’s debate, Clinton called the committee “basically an arm of the Republican National Committee.”
Campaign spokesman Nick Merrill on Friday said the committee’s focus on Abedin is “additional evidence that the actual attack in Benghazi, and its lessons about how we might better protect diplomats serving in dangerous places, are the last things on the committee’s mind.” He also criticized the decision to “leak details about her
Cummings said, “it is finally time for the Republican Party to stop denying the undeniable, stop defending the indefensible, and stop using millions of taxpayer dollars for the illegitimate purpose of trying to damage Hillary Clinton’s bid for president.”
The Benghazi tragedy which led to the death of four americans,including the U.S. Ambassador Charles Steven in the Libyan facility occurred during Clinton tenure as Secretary of State
Source : Fox News