WASHINGTON – A batch of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails from her time as secretary of state show her corresponding with a longtime adviser about the Libyan rebellion against Moammar Gadhafi and the Benghazi attack.
The set of messages, which were published Thursday by The New York Times, focus on the 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens.
The emails – many of which are marked “sensitive but unclassified”– show the role played by Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime Clinton family confidante, who was working for the Clinton family foundation and advising a group of entrepreneurs trying to win business from the Libyan transitional government. Blumenthal, who was not an employee of the State Department at the time, repeatedly wrote dispatches about the events in Libya to Clinton, who often forwarded them to senior diplomatic officials.
Clinton has faced months of controversy after revealing that she used a private email address while working as secretary of state, rather than a government address, and failed to preserve all of her messages. This week, a district court judge ruled that the agency must set a timetable to release the 55,000 remaining pages. The portion of the emails about the events in Libya have already been given for review to a special House panel investigating the attacks. They are expected to be released by the State Department in the coming days after months of delay.
Clinton had initially been expected to testify this week on the attacks, but her testimony was put off after panel chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., complained that he lacked the necessary State Department documents to thoroughly question her. Speaking after a campaign stop in Iowa this week, Clinton urged the agency to make her emails public as quickly as possible.