Politics

House Benghazi committee subpoenas ex-Clinton White House aide Blumenthal

Report: Hillary Clinton forwarded long-time ally's memos to senior diplomats in Libya

 

The House select committee investigating the deadly 2012 Benghazi attack issued a subpoena Tuesday to former Clinton White House aide Sidney Blumenthal.

Committee spokesman Jamal Ware confirmed to Fox News that Blumenthal had been called to give a deposition before the committee.

The subpoena of Blumenthal came a day after The New York Times reported that Hillary Clinton had received private intelligence reports from Blumenthal regarding the situation in Libya during the civil war that led to the fall of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011. According to the paper, Hillary sent some of those reports on to aides and State Department personnel.

At the same time that he was sending the memos to Clinton, the Times reported, Blumenthal was advising business associates who were hoping to win contracts from Libya's transitional post-Qaddafi government. The Times report did not make clear what, if anything, Clinton and the State Department knew of Blumenthal's involvement in any potential business projects in Libya.

Blumenthal served as a senior adviser to former President Bill Clinton between 1997 and 2001, but the Times reported that the Obama administration prohibited him from taking a job with Clinton's State Department team. 

Late Tuesday, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the Benghazi committee's ranking Democrat, accused Republicans on the committee of heavy-handed tactics in issuing the subpoena to Blumenthal. 

"There was no need for the Select Committee to send two U.S. Marshals to the home of Sidney Blumenthal to serve his wife with a subpoena, especially since the Committee never bothered to contact him first to ask him whether he would voluntarily come in," Cummings said. "These heavy-handed, aggressive, and unnecessary tactics waste the time of the U.S. Marshal service."

The committee is led by Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, of South Carolina. 

"Those who complain about the committee's speed don't get to complain when the committee cuts to the chase," committee spokesman Ware said, referencing previous claims by Cummings that the committee's investigation was politically motivated and designed to hurt Clinton's chances in the 2016 presidential election.

The Times report also indicated that Clinton may have used a second e-mail address to handle her official correspondence. Emails published by the Times show Clinton writing from the address, hrod17@clintonemail.com. This is distinct from the other address she has acknowledged using as secretary of state, hdr22@clintonemail.com.

Ware told FoxNews.com earlier Tuesday it was not clear whether the multiple e-mail addresses reflected a glitch or proved Clinton really was using two email addresses, contrary to what her office claims.

"There's only one way to know that for certain," Ware said in an email. "For Clinton to turn over the server for independent analysis."

Fox News' Catherine Herridge and Chad Pergram and Fox News.com's Judson Berger contributed to this report.