John Bolton: Benghazi Panel Needs to Question Hillary Clinton for 'Hours and Hours'

Image: John Bolton: Benghazi Panel Needs to Question Hillary Clinton for 'Hours and Hours'

Sunday, 04 May 2014 09:30 AM

By Todd Beamon

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton needs to provide "hours and hours" of private depositions if any House select committee is effective in uncovering what happened in the 2012 Benghazi deaths that killed four Americans, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said on Saturday.

"The public hearings that get so much attention are the last things that should happen," Bolton, who served in the George W. Bush White House, told Jeanine Pirro on her Fox News program. "We need former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton giving hours and hours of depositions before they put her back out in public testimony. That's the way to find out what happened.

"You can't get effective investigations done with members of Congress alternating — asking questions for five minutes — of somebody who's articulate and knows how to dodge questions," Bolton added. "What needs to happen are extensive, hour-after-hour depositions."

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On Friday, House Speaker John Boehner said that the chamber would vote next week to establish a select committee to investigate the attacks at the U.S. Consulate on Sept. 11, 2012, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, including two former Navy SEALs.

Boehner is considering South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, a former prosecutor who is in his second term, to head the panel.

The speaker's move followed the release Tuesday of an email obtained by Judicial Watch through a lawsuit filed last year against the State Department showing Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes counseling former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to link the Benghazi attacks to an anti-Muslim video.

The others to die in the assaults were information management officer Sean Smith and former SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

In his Fox interview, Bolton told Pirro that the myriad issues surrounding the Benghazi attacks require that a select committee "pursue this investigation in ways that really get to the bottom of things."

The email Judicial Watch released proved that the White House crafted its Benghazi response to help President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, he said.

"It belies their whole narrative that the president himself had said just a few days before that Osama bin Laden is dead, General Motors is alive, the war against al-Qaida is almost over," Bolton said. "Everything.

"All the tragic events of that evening, September 11th, undercut that. The combination of ideology and political reality drive to this cover-up — and there can't be any argument that that's what it is. We need more information. There's a lot that's come out. … There's a lot more there."

He added that Clinton, who stepped down in January and is seen as the likely Democratic nominee for the White House in 2016, also needed to be extensively deposed by the select panel behind closed doors because Rice "had absolutely nothing to do with Benghazi.

"She was selected to go on the five Sunday talk shows because, by definition, she could not make a mistake," added Bolton, who also has not ruled out a presidential run on the Republican ticket. "Since she didn't know anything, she couldn't reveal anything that she shouldn't have."

He questioned why Clinton did not appear on those programs, where Rice tied the attacks to the anti-Muslim video. Rice is now Obama's national security adviser.

"This was her post that was attacked, her people who were killed," Bolton said of Clinton. "She was out there issuing a press release while the attack was going on, blaming it on the video.

"She was at Andrews Air Force Base when the remains were brought back — blaming it on the video — and yet, two days later, she can't go on the Sunday talk shows?

Urgent: Who Is Your Choice for the GOP's 2016 Nominee?

"There's a story there," he said, adding that the select committee's investigation "can reveal a lot about what was going on inside the administration."

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