13 Spectacular Moments From Hillary Clinton’s Marathon Benghazi Hearing


On Thursday, Hillary Clinton spent 11 hours testifying before the Select Committee On Benghazi. It was part of the eighth Congressional investigation of the 2012 terrorist attack that left four Americans dead, which is more investigations than were held for every other major terrorist attack in the last 20 years combined.

So what new information did we learn in the marathon session?

The chairman of the committee, Trey Gowdy, wasn’t able to name a single thing. Conservatives who hoped Clinton’s testimony would uncover new, damaging information about the former secretary of state were left disappointed.

But what the hearing lacked in novelty, it made up for in spectacle. Here are 13 of the session’s most absurd and dramatic moments:

1. Congressman pretends to be Clinton, dramatically rips up a piece of paper.

While accusing Clinton’s State Department of ignoring requests for additional security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi before the attacks, Rep. Peter Goskam (R-IL) ripped a piece of paper, attempting to symbolize Clinton “ripping up” the requests. Clinton maintained that she did not personally receive requests for more security.

2. The Republican chairman of the committee, Trey Gowdy, trashes the five other Benghazi investigations led by Republican members of Congress.

In an attempt to counter accusations of political bias, Benghazi Select Committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) slammed fellow Republicans who worked on the previous investigations, saying they weren’t “serious.”

3. Congresswoman displays map of Libya, admits “most of us don’t know much about Libya.”

The committee has been studying an attack that occurred in the country for 17 months.

Video | C-SPAN.orgEdit

4. Clinton explains that she can multitask.

While interrogating Clinton, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) noticed Clinton was looking at her notes. Roskam offered to pause his question, to which Clinton responded that she can “do more than one thing at a time, Congressman. Thanks.”

5. Congressman details just how obsessed Republicans are with Sidney Blumenthal.

Even conservative pundits were frustrated by how often Republicans on the committee brought up Sidney Blumenthal, who is a close Clinton family friend.


Republicans on the committee deposed Blumenthal, but have refused to release the contents of the deposition. Rep. Adam Smith (D-CA), however, had apparently seen the deposition, and during the hearing released numbers conveying what Republicans asked Blumenthal.

According to Smith, Republicans asked Blumenthal “160 questions about his relationship with the Clintons, fewer than 20 questions about the Benghazi attacks, more than 50 questions about the Clinton Foundation, four questions about security in Benghazi, 270 questions about his business dealings in Libya and no questions about the United States presence in Benghazi.”

6. Audience members begin to snooze.

And that was only about halfway into the hearing.

7. Clinton receives a really awkward question about whether she spent the night alone on the day of the Benghazi attacks.

“I was alone, yes,” Clinton responded — and laughed when she was pressed on whether she was really alone “the whole night.”

8. Congressman says he wants to do a Bernie Sanders impression, but fears being compared to Larry David.

9. A yelling match breaks out.

After three hours of testimony, as the committee was nearing the lunch break, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) confronted Rep. Gowdy, alleging that he lied this past weekend on national TV when he said that he has “zero interest” in investigating Clinton’s emails or the activities of the Clinton Foundation.


He accused Gowdy of asking Blumenthal many questions about the Clinton Foundation during his deposition — which Gowdy refuses to release to the public. Cummings demanded the committee vote to release the full transcript of Blumenthal’s deposition, but Gowdy said he would not hold a vote.

Gowdy eventually did hold a vote, but the Republicans on the committee voted against releasing the document.

10. Congresswoman prints out all of Clinton’s emails and put them in a big stack.

Susan Brooks (R-IN) presented two stacks of Clinton’s emails — one from 2011, and another from 2012. She was trying to make a point that there was a bigger stack of email about Benghazi after the attack.

Clinton noted that most of her communications weren’t conducted over email.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
CREDIT: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

11. Clinton congratulates Chairman Gowdy.

12. Most of the audience leaves.

13. 10 hours in, a congresswoman inquires, “How late are we going tonight?”

The hearing concluded at 9:00 p.m., about 11 hours after it started.