‘A very different kind of warfare’: Clinton team on Benghazi committee leaks in #PodestaEmails

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton © Joshua Roberts
Correspondence among senior Clinton campaign staff released by WikiLeaks in Sunday’s tranche of Podesta emails shows her staff discussing leaks from the Benghazi committee as a “very different kind of warfare.”

Emails from March 14, 2015 reveal the campaign team’s apparent suspicion that the House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman, Republican Trey Gowdy, was selectively leaking information from the committee.

“State just called to tell me that Mike Schmidt seems to have what appear to be summaries of some of the exchanges in the 300 emails the committee has,” Clinton’s traveling press secretary Nick Merrill writes to director of communications Jennifer Palmieri.

“Again, it appears that he does not have the email but that someone, likely from the committee, is slipping him cherry-picked characterizations of the exchanges. I haven’t heard directly from Schmidt yet but will circle back when I do,” he adds.

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Palmieri responds: “This is no bueno. This is some kind of bullshit. Adding John [Podesta] to this chain.

“If Gowdy is doing selective leaks, we are in very different kind of warfare.”

Just a week later, Gowdy formally requested that Hillary Clinton turn over her private email server to a third party for a “neutral” investigation.

Another email, with the subject ‘Tea leaves’ and dated May 8, 2015, published in Sunday’s tranche of leaks, also discusses Gowdy and the Select Committee on Benghazi.

The email from Bill and Hillary Clinton attorney David E. Kendall to several members of Clinton’s campaign team reveals details of a conversation he had with Susanne Sachsman Grooms, a former IRS and Justice Department lawyer and the Democrat’s staff director on the Benghazi panel.

Kendall brings the team up to speed on information he got from Grooms relating to a committee “progress report” and Hillary Clinton’s hearing.

“She believes that Gowdy will put out some kind of ‘progress report’ today, since today marks the first anniversary of the Select Committee's authorization (who knew?). She thinks that either in the report or in his comments, there will be some indication of what he thinks he has in store for us,” he writes.

“Susanne thinks it's conceivable they might try to schedule HRC in June. But she thinks he'll try to use the present standoff as a reason why the Committee can't move faster,” he adds.

Clinton appeared before the Select Committee on Benghazi in October 2015.

In June 2016, the committee published its findings, concluding that there was no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by the former secretary of state in the 2012 Libya terrorist attacks on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

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Four Americans were killed in the attack, including US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.