A day before former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Democrats on the panel released a full transcript of an interview conducted Sept. 3 with Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills.
Democrats already released excerpts of the Mills interview earlier this month. Maryland Rep. [crscore]Elijah Cummings[/crscore], the committee’s ranking Democrat, also said then that he planned to release the 307-page transcript. Democrats defended the move, which they say is intended to “correct the public record after numerous out-of-context and misleading Republican leaks.”
Cummings has accused committee Republicans of planting “misleading” leaks about Mills’ statements. He pointed to a Sept. 3 Politico article in which a Republican source discussed her interview. (RELATED: Benghazi Democrats Release Excerpts Of Cheryl Mills’ Testimony)
Democrats assert that the transcript shows that there is no evidence that Clinton personally denied requests for additional security before the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi. The terrorist attack left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Mills’ testimony also shows that Clinton did not order the military to stand down after the attack, according to Democrats.
“It does, however, provide significant evidence that Secretary Clinton was deeply engaged during and after the attacks and took action to ensure the safety and security of U.S. personnel, even as intelligence assessments of the attacks changed more than once during this period,” Democrats said in a press release.
Wednesday’s release is the culmination of a bitter back-and-forth between the committee’s seven Republican and five Democratic members.
Democrats have accused the Majority members of conducting a politically-motivated witch-hunt aimed at hurting her presidential campaign. Republicans claim that the investigation is not solely focused on Clinton and that Democrats are providing her with political cover.
Republicans have rebuffed Democrats’ requests for the release of Mills’ testimony and other witnesses’, saying that doing so could taint testimony from later witnesses.
For instance, Clinton could possibly tailor her testimony to fit what Mills said during her interview.