Hillary Clinton has been unflappable in dominating House Republicans during the early stages of her testimony in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
Clip of Clinton’s Opening Statement:
From the very beginning of the hearing, Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) signaled that this could be a long day for Republicans by devoting his entire opening statement to trying to justify the existence of his committee.
Rep. Gowdy (R-SC) said:
Madame Secretary, I understand some people – frankly in both parties -have suggested this investigation is about you. Let me assure you it is not. And let me assure you why it is not. This work is about something much more important than any single person. It is about four U.S. government workers, including our Ambassador, murdered by terrorists on foreign soil. It is about what happened before, during, and after the attacks that killed these four men. It is about what this country owes those who risk their lives to serve it. It is about the fundamental obligation of our government to tell the truth – always – to the American people. Not a single member of this Committee signed up for an investigation into you or your email system. We signed up because we wanted to honor the service and sacrifice of 4 people sent to a foreign land to represent us – who were killed – and do everything we can to prevent it from happening to others.
The Republican goal has been to put Clinton on the defensive, and raise questions about her role in the Benghazi attacks, but former Sec. Clinton has been rock solid. Her answers have been direct. There has been no parsing.
Less than two hours into the hearing, Remember members of the committee have resorted to pulling out individual emails and doing the equivalent of asking what about this email?
The hearing is the Hillary Clinton show. House Republicans are way overmatched. Clinton has been smartly asking House Republicans questions and not getting caught up in a line of questions that are designed to turn the hearing into a platform for Benghazi conspiracy theories.
Just as she did during the Democratic debate, Clinton is rising to the occasion and looks extremely comfortable on the biggest of stages. House Republicans are already complaining that they are frustrated.
Republicans spent years planning for this day. Clinton’s select committee testimony was supposed to be the moment that tripped her up and handed Republicans the White House in 2016.
Instead, Clinton is looking strong and the Republicans’ big moment is already turning into a very long day.