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Democrats' Report on Benghazi Attack: Hillary Clinton Was 'Active And Engaged'

House Benghazi Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. (left), confers with the committee's ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., during a hearing on Capitol Hill.
J. Scott Applewhite

A new report released Monday by the minority members of the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the events at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, absolves the U.S military and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of any blame in attacks that left four Americans dead nearly four years ago.

The findings by the Democrats on the committee conclude that the Department of Defense "could not have done anything differently" on Sept. 11, 2012, that could have saved Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others.

The report adds that while State Department security at the compound was "woefully inadequate," Clinton herself "never personally denied any requests for additional security in Benghazi." Clinton was also "active and engaged" on the night of the attacks and in subsequent days, saying she was in touch with the president, the CIA director, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and others in the hours following the attacks.

Democrats on the panel unveiled their findings to get out in front of a Republican-led committee report that is expected to be far more critical, if not scathing, of Clinton's handling of the tragic events.

The 339-page minority report labels the investigation as being "partisan" and accuses the Republican members of the committee of using the two-year probe as a tool to "attack their political foes."

"We have been hampered in our work by the ongoing Republican obsession with conspiracy theories that have no basis in reality," the report said. "Rather than reject these conspiracy theories in the absence of evidence — or in the face of hard facts — Select Committee Republicans embraced them and turned them into a political crusade."

In response, Select Committee on Benghazi Press Secretary Matt Wolking pushed back in a statement accusing Democrats of being the ones guilty of obsession when it came to the investigation:

"Benghazi Committee Democrats' obsession with the former Secretary of State is on full display. For over two years they refused to participate in the Majority's serious, fact-centered investigation. The dishonest Democrats on this committee falsely claimed everything had been 'asked and answered.' They said the committee had found 'absolutely nothing new.' If that's changed, they should come clean and admit it. If not, everyone can ignore their rehashed, partisan talking points defending their endorsed candidate for president."

The Select Committee, led by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., is expected to release the committee's full report ahead of the party conventions next month.

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Brakkton Booker is a National Desk reporter based in Washington, DC.
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