Law & the Courts

Gowdy: Sidney Blumenthal Sent Classified Info, Lobbied Clinton to Profit from Libya Intervention

Rep. Trey Gowdy

House Benghazi committee chairman Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) has accused Hillary Clinton confidante Sid Blumenthal of outing a CIA source in Libya, and using his close ties to the then-secretary of state to profit from the 2011 American intervention that brought down Moammar Qaddafi.

Yesterday, Gowdy sent a fiery letter accusing Elijah Cummings (D., Md.), the ranking Democrat on the Benghazi committee, of improperly politicizing the committee’s 17-month investigation by selectively leaking information. In the face of Democratic calls to disband the committee, Gowdy’s letter sought to justify the committee’s existence by highlighting some of its key findings.

In particular, Gowdy pointed to the committee’s substantial collection of e-mails between Secretary Clinton and Blumenthal, who had been specifically barred from working at the State Department by White House officials. Gowdy noted that approximately half of all of Clinton’s messages pertaining to Libya were between her and Blumenthal, prompting him to label the former journalist “Secretary Clinton’s primary advisor” on U.S. policy in the North-African country.

Between the start of the Libyan uprising and the time when American missiles first hit Tripoli, Blumenthal lobbied tirelessly for a U.S. military intervention against the Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi. “Perhaps more disturbing is that at the same time Blumenthal was pushing Secretary Clinton to war in Libya,” Gowdy wrote, “he was privately pushing a business interest of his own in Libya that stood to profit from contracts with the new Libyan government — a government that would exist only after a successful U.S. intervention in Libya that deposed Qaddafi.”

#share#Blumenthal owned a financial stake in Osprey Global Solutions, a military contractor seeking to do business with the Libyan rebels. Using intelligence from Cody Shearer, another longtime Clinton hanger-on, and Tyler Drumheller, an ex-CIA spy, he urged then-Secretary Clinton to support the Libyan rebels’ plans to hire Western military contractors. National Review reported in May that, due to Blumenthal’s ties to both Osprey and top Libyan rebel figures, those communications may have violated foreign-lobbying law.

But new e-mails released by Gowdy on Wednesday show Blumenthal specifically mentioned Osprey Global Solutions several times in his memos to Clinton. “This is a private contract,” Blumenthal wrote, describing an agreement his company had made with Libyan rebel leaders. “The [rebels] want to demonstrate that they are pro-US. They see this is a significant way to do that. . . . Tyler, Cody, and I acted as honest brokers, putting this arrangement together through a series of connections, linking the Libyans to Osprey and keeping it moving.” Clinton forwarded this e-mail to Jake Sullivan, one of her top advisors. “Pls read and discuss w me at hotel. Thx,” she wrote. Several other e-mails regarding Osprey and other Western defense contractors were later sent by Blumenthal to Clinton, who at times forwarded them to members of her staff.

#related#Gowdy also accused Blumenthal of using the name of a secret CIA source inside of Libya, which was redacted in e-mails provided to the committee. “Tyler spoke to a colleague currently at the CIA, who told him the agency had been dependent for intelligence from [redacted due to sources and methods],” one e-mail to Clinton read. The then-secretary subsequently forwarded that e-mail to a State Department colleague — “debunking her claim that she never sent any classified information from her private e-mail address,” Gowdy wrote.

The Benghazi Committee chairman explained that the new information regarding Osprey Global Solutions and classified material “raise[s] the likelihood that the Committee will need to bring back Sidney Blumenthal to reopen his deposition.”

— Brendan Bordelon is a political reporter for National Review.

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