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Democrats' Benghazi Report Exonerates Clinton, Says She Was 'Active and Engaged' During Attacks


The word "Clinton" appeared 334 times in the Democrats' 339-page report.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pauses while speaking at a Rainbow PUSH Women's International Luncheon at the Hyatt McCormick in Chicago, Monday, June 27, 2016. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

Democratic members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi sought to get out ahead of Republicans' findings by issuing a report of their own Monday investigating the 2012 terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The five Democrats issued a report titled "Honoring Courage, Improving Security, and Fighting the Political Exploitation of a Tragedy." The full committee's majority report is expected to be critical of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's handling of the attack.

The word "Clinton" appears 334 times in the Democrats' 339-page report, which includes glowing language to describe her handling of the crisis in its early hours and blames Republicans for using their various Benghazi probes to weaken Clinton's 2016 presidential candidacy.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pauses while speaking Monday at a Rainbow PUSH Women's International Luncheon at the Hyatt McCormick in Chicago. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

The report contains interviews with several of Clinton's subordinates during her time at the State Department and uses their descriptions to draw its conclusions.

Clinton’s chief of staff at the time, Cheryl Mills, described her as “very concerned,” “very determined” and “worried” about U.S. teams on the ground in Libya. Clinton was “devastated” about the deaths of Americans in Benghazi, Mills added.

Her deputy chief of staff, Jacob Sullivan, said: "Every day she’d show up early and go home late, helping manage the response, calling foreign officials where she needed to get more help, calling interagency colleagues when she needed to get Marines or other security personnel in place."

Clinton and her team, as well as President Barack Obama's administration, made "no intentionally misleading public statements" about the attacks, the report says.

Republican Select Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (S.C.) has said that the American people were "lied to" about what happened at Benghazi. But the Democrats' report pushes back on that assessment.

"The evidence obtained by the Select Committee demonstrates that these claims are baseless," the report says. "Republicans simply disregard the fact that the intelligence reports changed repeatedly, and the Administration’s statements changed with them."

The Democrats' report takes aim at Republicans, especially Gowdy, for breaking their promise to look into the attacks in a fair, credible manner.

"The abuse of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds for partisan purposes to influence a presidential election discredits the House of Representatives," the report declares. "It is a disservice to the American public, the men and women who serve our nation abroad, and the families of those who were killed during the attacks."

But the committee's majority press secretary, Matt Wolking, said that the "so-called 'report'" puts Democrats' obsession with Clinton "on full display."

"The dishonest Democrats on this committee falsely claimed everything had been ‘asked and answered,'" he said. "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 committee's majority report is expected to be released soon.

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