The first questions of the day by Democrat Sen. Robert Menendez at a Benghazi just happened to be questions that then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had quick answers for – she had provided the questions in advance.
In newly released emails obtained by Citizens United from January 2013, Clinton’s staff, Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills and Phillippe Reines were keeping Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, updated on the hearing. Chelsea’s alias email account under “Diane Reynolds” was being used in part of the correspondence.
On January 23, Chelsea asks Cheryl and Phillippe to let her know how it’s going? Phillippe responds with the following:
“Hiya. Very strong opening. She got very emotional when talking about the families. We wired it that Menendez would provide an opportunity to address two topics we needed to debunk (her actions/whereabouts on 9/11, and these email from Chris Stevens about moving locations.) Her tone has been very assured, very strong. She’s on her game. The moment so far was her choking up.”
Chelsea responds, “Great, thank you Phillippe. I really appreciate that update. And, of course, she’s on her game! Please keep me posted.”
Fox News documents the questions Menendez asked that were so conveniently provided for him:
Menendez asked for Clinton’s “insights on the decision-making process regarding the location of the Mission.” The senator added, “can you also in your response, you touched upon it in your opening statement, but what actions were you and your staff taking the night of September 11 and into September 12?”
The then-secretary of state had an answer on both fronts. She told the committee that “[Ambassador] Chris [Stevens] was committed to not only being in Benghazi but to the location,” and that on the night of the attack, “I was notified of the attack shortly after 4:00 p.m. Over the following hours, we were in continuous meetings and conversations both within the department with our team in Tripoli, with the interagency and internationally.”
Citizens United said in a statement: “This email chain provides a rare behind the scenes look at which Benghazi-related issues the Clinton camp had concerns about going into Secretary Clinton’s January 2013 testimony on Capitol Hill, and what they had apparently plotted out beforehand with a Democrat committee member to deal with those concerns. Citizens United will continue to release all new Benghazi emails we receive through our FOIA lawsuits as they come in — the American people have a right to know the full picture.”
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