Clinton Speaks in Baltimore

On Monday evening, Hillary Clinton spoke in Baltimore, Maryland at a fundraising event for Representative Elijah Cummings’ Youth Program in Israel. During her speech, Clinton spoke about the importance of the United States working with the global community to combat terrorism at home and abroad. She called for unity in the face of the recent terrorist attacks in London. Without saying his name, Clinton criticized President Donald Trump for his recent actions in the international community saying, “It’s a time for steady, determined leadership, like we are seeing from local authorities in London, including the mayor of London. This is not a time to lash out, to incite fear or to use tragedy and terror for political gain. Normally this would go without saying, but we are not living in normal times.” Watch a video of Clinton’s speech below.

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News Source: The Baltimore Sun, WBALTV

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House Benghazi Committee Releases Final Report

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The House Select Committee on Benghazi concluded its multi-year investigation into the terrorist attack on the United States Diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The attack resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. After reviewing evidence and conducting countless interviews, the committee released its findings at the end of June.

There has been controversy surrounding the committee since its creation in 2014. Democrats have accused Republicans as using the attacks in Benghazi as a way to harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations. Its critics point to the endless investigations, many of which concluded before the committee was created in 2014. Because of this, the Republican majority and the Democratic minority of the committee have agreed on little. In fact, they even have separate websites covering the investigation. These divisions were made more apparent when Clinton testified for over 10 hours before the committee in October 2015.

On June 27, the minority members of the committee released their findings in a report led by Representative Elijah Cummings. In the report, the minority members focus on the way the committee has acted and the cost to tax payers for an investigation that ultimately yielded no new findings. They also complained that they were largely left out the process of writing the primary report that was released the next day. The report, which consists of 340 pages, is primarily a criticism of the handling of the investigation by the Republicans on the committee and their limited focus on Clinton.

The Republicans released their final report on June 28, a day after the Democrats. In 869 pages, the committee’s Republicans, led by Representative Trey Gowdy, harshly criticized the State Department, Defense Department, and CIA for failing to fully understand the situation that led to the attack in Benghazi. The report criticizes the delayed action by the Obama administration following the attacks. Overall, the committee failed to find any new evidence that changed the narrative of the attack nor could they prove that Clinton was in any way negligent. Instead, the report largely blames systemic issues for the poor response to the attack.

While the committee is responsible for discovering that Clinton used a private email server as Secretary of State, the findings of the committee largely echo that of an investigations conducted by the State Department in 2012 and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2013. During the Senate hearings in January 2013, Clinton accepted full responsibility for the State Department’s failures leading up to and following the attack. She also spoke about security funding that was cut by Congress arguing that those cuts have made United States diplomatic posts less secure around the world and she urged Congress to increase funding to ensure the safety of diplomats.

Since the release of the report early this week, Clinton has been asked for her thoughts. While she has not had much to say, she did offer a comment late this week saying, “I’ll leave it to others to characterize this report, but I think it’s pretty clear it’s time to move on.”

While many agree that it is time to move on, we want to ensure that the report, and every other report released on the Benghazi investigation are fully available to readers in the interest of full transparency. Therefore, we have gathered all the internal investigations and reports into the Benghazi attack into one place. Below, you will find a collection of websites for each the investigative committees as well as a collection of hearings and reports released by Congress and the State Department.

Date

Investigator

Type

October 10, 2012 House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Hearing
November 15, 2012 House Committee on Foreign Affairs (Part 1) Hearing
November 15, 2012 House Committee on Foreign Affairs (Part 2) Hearing
December 2012 State Department Accountability Review Board Report
December 20, 2012 Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Hearing
January 23, 2013 House Committee on Foreign Affairs Hearing
February 7, 2013 Senate Committee on Armed Services Hearing
April 23, 2013 Progress Report by the House Republican Conference Report
May 8, 2013 House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Hearing
September 16, 2013 House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Report
September 18, 2013 House Committee on Foreign Affairs Hearing
September 19, 2013 House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Hearing
January 15, 2014 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report
February 7, 2014 House Foreign Affairs Committee Majority Report
September 17, 2014 House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi, Libya Hearing
January 27, 2015 House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi, Libya Hearing
October 22, 2015 House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi, Libya Hearing
June 27, 2016 House Select Committee on Benghazi Minority Report
June 28, 2016 House Select Committee on Benghazi Majority Report

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News Source: The Washington Post, The New York Times, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post

Clinton Campaign Releases Details of Proposed Democratic Party Platform

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On Saturday, Hillary For America Senior Advisor Maya Harris released a statement following a Democratic Platform Drafting Committee meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. The meeting was one of four held around the country allowing national and local Democrats to gather and discuss the party’s platform. While the official platform will not be adopted until the Democratic National Convention next month, several proposed platform points are discussed in Harris’ statement including a $15 minimum wage, updates to the country’s prison system, a commitment to clean energy and fighting climate change, and ensuring everyone pays their fair share of taxes. Videos from the drafting committee hearings are available on the Democratic National Convention’s YouTube Channel and, the full statement from Harris is below:

“We are proud that the draft 2016 Democratic Platform, which the drafting committee approved yesterday, represents the most ambitious and progressive platform our party has ever seen, and reflects the issues Hillary Clinton has championed throughout this campaign, from raising wages and creating more good-paying jobs to fixing our broken immigration system, reforming our criminal justice system, and protecting women’s reproductive health and rights. As our Chairman, Congressman Elijah Cummings, directed us at the outset, our platform does not merely reflect common ground—it seeks higher ground.

For the first time ever, our platform calls for ending mass incarceration, shutting down the school-to-prison pipeline, and taking on the challenges of systemic racism. This year’s platform contains the most ambitious jobs plan on record, including historic investments in infrastructure, pledges to increase American manufacturing and stop companies from shipping jobs overseas, and a robust, stand-alone plank on youth jobs. It contains ambitious, progressive principles on wages, stating that working people should earn at least $15 an hour, citing New York’s minimum wage law and calling for raising and indexing the federal minimum wage. It also calls for the elimination of the ‘tipped’ wage and for the right of workers to form or join a union.  And for the first time, the Democratic Party platform explicitly calls for repealing the Hyde Amendment, which restricts access to women’s reproductive rights, particularly low-income women and women of color.

Four years ago, the Democratic platform called for an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy. This platform moves far beyond that framework, with a robust commitment to combating climate change and ambitious goals, like generating 50 percent of our electricity from clean sources within a decade. This vision was further strengthened through an amendment offered by representatives of both campaigns to see America running entirely on clean energy by mid-century.

We are also pleased that there were many issues where committee members worked collaboratively to articulate a bold vision, including making sure Wall Street greed and recklessness never again threatens American families and businesses on Main Street; proposing a surtax on multi-millionaires to ensure the richest among us are paying their fair share to build an economy that works for everyone; and expanding Social Security benefits by raising more revenue above the $250,000 threshold.

Members also worked together on framing Democrats’ shared commitment to comprehensive immigration reform, with an eloquent unity amendment stating, ‘Immigration is not a problem to be solved, it is a defining aspect of the American character and history to be supported and defended against those who would exclude or eliminate legal immigration avenues and denigrate immigrants.’

And we are proud the draft 2016 Democratic platform sets forward progressive principles and high standards on trade, including calling for trade agreements to be more protective of workers’ rights, labor rights, the environment, and public health. The draft reviewed by committee members yesterday included a call to review past trade agreements and update them to reflect these principles. An amendment adopted yesterday further emphasized the fact that many Democrats oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership because ‘the agreement does not meet the standards set out in this platform.’ Hillary Clinton is one of those Democrats, and has been strongly and unequivocally on the record opposing TPP. Just this week, she said, ‘We will defend American jobs and American workers by saying ‘no’ to bad trade deals and unfair trade practices, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.’

Make no mistake about it: The 2016 Democratic platform represents an ambitious, progressive agenda that all Democrats can and should be proud of.”

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