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Congressman Jim Jordan On Yesterday’s Benghazi Hearing

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The transcript:

HH: Joined now by Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan from the 4th District of the great Buckeye State. Congressman Jordan, welcome, congratulations, I thought you were dogged, determined and effective yesterday. What is your thought the day after the hearings with Hillary as to how they went?

JJ: Well, thanks, Hugh, good to be with you. You know, look, she said one thing privately and another thing publicly, and you can’t have, you can’t have the government not giving it to you straight. So I think you know, obviously, that was, people thought that the video narrative was a big problem, but here we find out she had told her family it was a terrorist attack. She had told the Egyptian prime minister literally less than 24 hours after the statement that she made that night, she told the Egyptian prime minister that. We know it wasn’t the film. We know it was a terrorist attack and not a protest. So I think obviously, that was important, I think, for people to understand. But I think also, frankly, she at the end of a long day, but at the end, was asked about would she be willing if the FBI now has her server, actually find some emails that were deleted, and would she be willing to let a neutral third party like a federal judge to take a look at all that and find out if there’s some emails on there that should be given to our committee and help us get to the truth about what happened that night.

HH: Did she agree to that?

JJ: She did not. She did not, and that is, I think that’s telling, because she has said several times how transparent she is being, how she’s worked so hard to turn over everything she needed, the most transparent person ever, and yet, you know, come on, let us be, we can work on who this neutral third party could be. I would recommend, again, a retired federal judge. But she would not agree to that.

HH: Now Congressman Jordan, key question, the email that she sent to Chelsea…

JJ: Yeah.

HH: The one that you referred to, did she send it simply to Chelsea or to other family members?

JJ: No, this is just a back and forth, if I remember exactly, a back and forth she was having. They had been trying, I think, to communicate that day. And of course, Secretary Clinton was tied up with the terrible events that were happening and unfolding in Benghazi. But you know, she’s, literally, an hour and four minutes, 10:08 that night, she sends out the statement where it says this vicious behavior, some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet. So that’s her 10:08 statement. That’s the statement that we as the American people and the world see, but then one hour and four minutes later, she tells her daughter it was an al Qaeda-like group, a terrorist attack that killed two of our people.

HH: Now was Chelsea Clinton cleared to receive classified information of that nature?

JJ: I have no idea, but you know, it’s, I have no idea if she was cleared for anything. I assume not, but I have no idea.

HH: Did that question come up among the committee as to whether or not…

JJ: It did not. It did not. It did not.

HH: Do you think it’s appropriate for the Secretary of State to be communicating what is very sensitive, if not classified information to her daughter? I know it’s a double standard, but should she be doing that to family members, because David Petraeus had to plead guilty for giving sensitive material to his mistress.

JJ: Interesting question, important question, and the FBI is looking into that, because the Inspector General at the Intelligence Community understands that Mrs. Clinton sent some things that they think were classified on her personal, unique email server and system.

HH: In the course of the hearings, she also had an exchange with your colleague, Mike Pompeo, where she said there was no classified material on her server. Previously, she’s always characterized it as material marked classified, but she made that admission. Is that the first time she’s made that admission or that assertion that there was no classified material on her server?

JJ: And I think the way Mike had challenged her back was that you know, according to who? Is that your thoughts. Of course, and so, again, that’s something that’s being looked at as we speak with the FBI. And they obviously have concerns or they wouldn’t have went and grabbed her server. Her story about the whole email thing has changed numerous times. First, it was I sent almost all my, or she sent, it was my practice to send to .gov accounts only when work-related stuff on .gov accounts. Then she, of course, had to later revise is and say well, wait a minute, there was a fraction of emails that I sent to government officials on their personal accounts, therefore they wouldn’t have of course been kept by the system, the government system. So her story changes several times. In fact, the New York Times had a big piece on this yesterday. She says one thing in March when the story broke. But weeks and months, she’ll say something else. But of course, there’s something that happens in between that causes her to remember oh, I’d better change the story, because some of the facts and the truth were coming out.

HH: So Congressman Jordan, at the end of the day, 11 hours of testimony, half of which was really just cheerleading by your Democratic colleagues, and that’s fine. That’s the way the system works, but about five hours of questioning. Have you stipulated she will not be called again? Is that part of the deal with her counsel?

JJ: Yeah, that was the agreement that she would come once, but it would be, you know, several rounds of questioning, and that’s exactly what happened yesterday.

HH: You have 20 witnesses left.

JJ: Yeah.

HH: Who are among those witnesses?

JJ: Well, there’ll be some in the Department of Defense areas, there’ll be some in the intelligence area. We will continue to do that, but the other thing you’ve got to remember is we just got some, in the past week, 5,000 pages of emails from Chris Stevens, so we’re just now getting the Ambassador’s emails. That’s unbelievable that you would, the Democrats say you know, this should have been done a long time ago. Well, we would have like to have finished this up and had conclusions and closure and some truth for the American people, but it’s tough to do that, frankly, and we keep saying this, and it’s the truth. The frustration level is so high, because the State Department and this administration drag their feet and put up roadblocks to make it that difficult for us to get the information we need.

HH: No, I think that came through. I am curious about more information, not less. Are you going to speak with former Secretary of Defense Panetta and former CIA director Petraeus? Or have you already done so?

JJ: That hasn’t been announced, but I think that is, I think that needs to happen, and I think that’s where Chairman Gowdy is inclined to move based on the conversations he’s had with us on the Committee.

HH: Now I know it is a Democratic talking point to say that people on my side of the aisle and you have conspiracy theories.

JJ: Yeah.

HH: I have no conspiracy theories. I’m just interested in a tick-tock of what happened that night.

JJ: Yeah.

HH: Is there any indication of a stand-down delivered to any military force concerning relief of the people besieged in Benghazi?

JJ: I’m not seen that, yet, but obviously, I’ve read the book 13 Hours by the four individuals who were there and a part of that fight that night. But I’ve not seen that thus far in our investigation. But again, that’s why we’re, I mentioned we’re going to look at more interviews with folks from the Defense area.

HH: And so when she also only talked to the President once, and in fact, I thought it was very rude when she laughed at Congresswoman Roby when Congresswoman asked if she was alone, because I would have assumed that staff would have accompanied her home in the middle of a crisis. Do you think she stopped functioning that night?

JJ: I think she was probably always in contact, but I don’t know. What I do know is she didn’t call the President until that evening. The attack started at 3:42, and she said evening. The question that I wished we would have followed up with, frankly, is did you talk to him before the statement went out or after the statement went out? Did you discuss the contents of the statement? I think those were questions, and maybe there’s, we can send a letter and ask for answers to some of those questions. But you know, she wouldn’t pin down a time. So I would have liked to have asked her was it before that 10:08, the official statement from the U.S. government goes out? You would think the White House would be involved in drafting what became the official statement of our government that night. But that wasn’t asked, and you know, you have just so much, so many minutes to do it, and I wished we would have asked that question.

HH: Well, now this goes to the law. If you made an agreement about her testifying once, and new material arrives that undermines the agreement, don’t you have the right to subpoena her again?

JJ: Heck yeah, heck yeah.

HH: I didn’t understand you, Congressman. Is that yes?

JJ: Yeah, heck yeah. Heck, yeah, I think you do.

HH: That’s what I thought.

JJ: And I think you should.

HH: Thank you so much, Congressman Jim Jordan from the State of Ohio. Well done yesterday.

End of interview.


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