As the House select committee investigating the Benghazi attack begins on September 17, Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) has an explosive new witness who is bringing forth a new charge of cover-up after the attack occurred. Raymond Maxwell, now retired from the State Department, was in charge of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the time of the attack. He has claimed in a story carried by The Daily Signal that after the attack, he walked into a Sunday meeting in the basement of the State Department building where he encountered a group of officials going through documents related to Benghazi. He was told by one of the participants that they were taking out any documents that could be embarrassing to DOS higher-ups, specifically on the 7th floor (where the secretary of state’s office was located). Maxwell also alleges that at one point, Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, walked into the room accompanied by her deputy, Jake Sullivan.
Clearly, if true, this would represent a dramatic breakthrough in the investigation-if anybody in the Justice Department is interested, which frankly, they are not. Aside from Fox News, it appears the mainstream media doesn’t have much of an interest. Media Matters, a left-wing arm of the Democrats, is already pointing out that Maxwell could not actually testify that aforementioned documents were, in fact, hidden from the Accountability Review Board. While that seems pretty lame to me, Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who is running interference for the administration on all sorts of scandals, points out that Maxwell was interviewed by the House committee investigating Benghazi last year and did not mention this. According to Chaffetz, Maxwell told him and others about the incident when they interviewed him. Assuming Maxwell testifies, he will have to explain this issue. (Prior to his retirement, he was one of four DOS officials disciplined in connection with Benghazi.) The State Department is denying Maxwell’s story.
What this comes down to is corroboration, which the FBI should be able to do. I assume Maxwell can pin down the date of that Sunday. I would also assume it can be tracked down who checked into Foggy Bottom on that Sunday (non-work day). Let’s assume also that the employee who told Maxwell what was going on is also identified by name and can be interviewed and called to testify under oath. If Maxwell’s allegations are true, this is a conspiracy case with several very identifiable participants. Surely someone can be persuaded to cooperate.
But who besides the Republicans on the select committee are prepared to do that? I don’t see it coming from Eric Holder’s Justice Department. Look at all the other scandals that have gone on under Holder’s tenure. Operation Fast and Furious is one classic example. Holder sat before the House committee attempting to investigate the scandal and perjured himself repeatedly. He withheld some 8,000 subpoenaed documents-with help from President Obama, who classified them under executive privilege.
Here is the dilemma: We have a president and an attorney general who have each other’s backs. In this case, we can throw in a former secretary of state, who likely will be our next president. It matters not that the facts scream out to high heaven. The Justice Department doesn’t care. The media doesn’t care, and the Senate doesn’t care. Special prosecutor? It is not going to happen. The foxes are in charge of the chicken coop.
Hillary Clinton was essentially an ineffective secretary of state whose biggest accomplishment was visiting over 100 countries. She ended her tenure with a disgraceful display of negligence that resulted in the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi. And finally, she led a cover-up by her top aides to remove any responsibility from her shoulders. The Accountability Review Board “investigation” was a sham. They did not even interview Clinton, whom they absolved of any blame! Survivors and witnesses were stashed away, and now comes this allegation of withholding pertinent documents from the ARB. As to the cover-up after the fact, this is a case the FBI could solve fairly easily. It is a matter of persuading people to cooperate and testify in order to bring forth the truth. Just as in the IRS scandal, e-mails can be retrieved from computers (unless they “crash” of course).The question is whether Holder’s corrupted Justice Department ( a department I once served with pride) will let the FBI do its job.
In the meantime, I wish Representative Gowdy God speed and good luck.