Tags: Hillary Clinton | Democratic

Politico: Insider Dems Confident in Hillary's Abilities as a Witness

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By    |   Friday, 22 May 2015 08:47 AM

A majority of Democratic insiders have full confidence in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's savvy as a witness when she testifies before Congress over the Benghazi attacks, telling Politico that her appearance will "work to her advantage."

A survey this week by the Politico Caucus, a bipartisan group of influential activists, operatives and elected officials in Iowa and New Hampshire, shows three out of four influential Dems are not worried about Clinton's appearance, as yet unscheduled, to answer questions about what she knew, and when, about the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

"As she has proven many times before, Hillary is not afraid to testify and is a very good witness; she will walk out of the hearing room enhanced," a New Hampshire Democrat told Politico.

Another Dem, from Iowa, echoed those sentiments.

"Republicans prefer the safety of manufactured outrage on Benghazi," the person said. "In person, I think Clinton will crush their questions."

Sixty percent of Republicans who participated in the Politico survey said Clinton should be direct in answering the questions. An Iowa Republican cautioned that GOP leaders should not "overplay its hand."

"It is a real opportunity for her to face this and defuse it — the R's will not be able to resist the temptation to gang up and it may actually engender some sympathy for her, hard as that is to imagine," added a New Hampshire Republican.

When Clinton will testify, and how often, have been subjects of controversy.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, has asked for Clinton to appear twice, once to answer questions about her exclusive use of a private email server during her tenure at the State Department and again to address Benghazi.

In a May letter, Clinton's lawyer, David Kendall, said his client would appear only once, according to the National Journal.

"Respectfully, there is no basis, logic or precedent for such an unusual request," Kendall wrote to Gowdy. "The secretary is fully prepared to stay for the duration of the committee's questions on the day she appears."

Gowdy, the Journal reports, indicated last week that he may be willing to settle for one hearing, so long as it's exhaustive.

"Secretary Clinton is insistent she will appear once and only once before the Select Committee," he said. "The Committee must be equally insistent that her appearance is thorough and fully productive."

Gowdy is waiting for the State Department to hand over additional documents showing communication among Clinton's chief State Department aides before he will schedule a hearing.

Democrats and Republicans disagree about whether the hearing is needed and whether it will yield any useful information, but a nonpartisan Iowan who participated in the Politico survey indicated that it's going to continue to haunt Clinton on the campaign trail.

"The testimony keeps the story alive and in the newspapers on a daily basis," the person said. "Also continues to give Republicans reason to talk about it on the campaign trail."

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A majority of Democratic insiders have full confidence in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's savvy as a witness when she testifies before Congress over the Benghazi attacks, telling Politico that her appearance will "work to her advantage."
Hillary Clinton, Democratic
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2015-47-22
Friday, 22 May 2015 08:47 AM
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