Partisan politics

Republicans put 2 women in charge of grilling Hillary Clinton at Benghazi hearing

Rep. Susan Brooks, a member of the Select Committee on Benghazi speaks as former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton spent 11 hours on Thursday on Capitol Hill being grilled by Republicans from the Select Committee that’s been investigating the deadly attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, back in 2012. The committee has been led by Trey Gowdy, a Republican U.S. Rep. from South Carolina. Interestingly, as The Washington Post noted, Gowdy, from the outset of the proceedings, turned over much of the questioning by the panel to two GOP women —  Susan Brooks, a U.S. Rep. from Indiana, and Martha Roby, a U.S. Rep. from Alabama — and he also vowed that Clinton wouldn’t be interrupted or cut off in the middle of an answer. Was it an attempt to prove that the GOP isn’t anti-woman? Were Republican congressmen advised to avoid tangling with Clinton due to how such clashes can be perceived in gendered terms? The Washington Post speculates that latter could be underlying the apparent strategy. But Brooks and Roby, Gowdy’s veritable mod-squad charged with interrogating Clinton, it appeared, weren’t counseled to avoid clashing with the former secretary of state and Democratic frontrunner in the 2016 race, as some rather dramatic conflicts arose between them. Brooks began her question of Clinton by gesturing to a giant stack of papers piled on the dais, and said, “This pile represents the emails that you sent or received about Libya in 2011.” The stack included some 795 emails, Gowdy said. “When I look at this pile in 2012, I only see a handful of emails to you from your senior staff about Benghazi … and I can only conclude by your own records that there was a lack of interest in Libya in 2012.” And the questions got only more accusatory from that point on, but Clinton, with some deft answers, managed to avoid the pitfalls — for nearly half of a day.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

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