-- Moments before the House Select Committee on Benghazi was about to break for lunch today, the discourse between Reps. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, and Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, took a heated turn.
However, the fiery exchange between the chairman of the committee and the ranking Democrat wasn’t about Hillary Clinton specifically, but over her confidante Sidney Blumenthal, who was not working for the State Department but sent Clinton emails while she was secretary of state.
Cummings accused Gowdy of making an “inaccurate” statement in order to defend the committee against attacks that it’s wasting taxpayer money.
Appearing on “Face the Nation” last week, Gowdy said he was only interested in Hillary Clinton’s emails she sent on a private server that pertained to Benghazi.
“I care about her emails only to the extent that they relate to Libya and Benghazi. ... The rest of the it ... I have zero interest in, which is why you haven't seen me send a subpoena related to it or interview a single person, other than Bryan Pagliano, because I need to know that the record is complete,” Gowdy insisted.
As the argument continued to escalate, Clinton sat there and let her facial expressions do the talking.
Meanwhile, Cummings argued that Gowdy’s remarks were not true.
“You issued a subpoena to Blumenthal on May 19, 2015, compelling him to appear for a deposition on June 16, 2015,” Cummings said. “You issued that subpoena unilaterally without giving the select committee members the opportunity to debate or vote on it. ... Now, these facts directly contradict the statements you made on national television.”
However, Gowdy fought back, saying he didn’t contradict himself and it was necessary Blumenthal be brought in for questions, considering how often he emailed with Clinton about Benghazi.
The fight then transpired to Cummings pushing for Blumenthal’s June testimony in front of the House Select Committee to be released.
“I move that we put into the record the entire transcript of Sidney Blumenthal. That way the world can see it,” Cummings said, getting animated.
“Why is it you only want Blumenthal's transcript released?” Gowdy asked.
“I'd like all of them released,” Cummings fired back. “The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. That's what we want to have. Let the world see it.”
The two went back and forth for at least five minutes before the committee took a break.
Gowdy had the final say, alluding this was only the beginning of the discussion. “If you think you've heard about Blumenthal so far, wait till the next round. With that, we're adjourned,” Gowdy said.