Trey Gowdy Altered Benghazi Documents to Frame Hillary Clinton-Disputed!

Trey Gowdy Altered Benghazi Documents to Frame Hillary Clinton-Disputed!

Summary of eRumor:
Trey Gowdy, the congressman leading the investigation into the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, altered documents in an effort to frame Hillary Clinton.
The Truth:
Trey Gowdy, a Republican assemblyman from South Carolina, has been accused of altering Benghazi documents — but he disputes those claims.
Gowdy is the chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, the congressional panel investigating an attack on a U.S. embassy in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.
Trey Gowdy asserted in a letter that an email from Hillary Clinton to outside advisor Sidney Blumenthal contained the classified name of an informant that the intelligence community relies upon, stating, “This information, the name of a human source, is some of the most protected information in our intelligence community, the release of which could jeopardize not only national security but human lives.”
Rep. Elija Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the select committee, then wrote a letter requesting that Gowdy correct the record after the CIA confirmed that the name of the informant was not classified, “debunking” Gowdy’s claim. Cummings also accused Gowdy of altering a document by adding redactions to make it appear that Clinton had leaked confidential information:

To further inflate your claim, you placed your own redactions over the name of the individual with the words, “redacted due to sources and methods.”  To be clear, these redactions were not made, and these words were not added, by any agency of the federal government responsible for enforcing classification guidelines.

Predictably, commentators began repeating your accusations in even more extreme terms, suggesting in headlines for example that “Clinton Burns CIA Libya Contact.”

Contrary to your claims, the CIA yesterday informed both the Republican and Democratic staffs of the Select Committee that they do not consider the information you highlighted in your letter to be classified.  Specifically, the CIA confirmed that “the State Department consulted with the CIA on this production, the CIA reviewed these documents, and the CIA made no redactions to protect classified information.”

Trey Gowdy denied the claim that the CIA had “debunked” his claims about Hillary Clinton in a letter to Cummings. Gowdy also said that the executive branch, not the CIA, declassified the informant’s name:

Contrary to your assertion, the CIA did not inform the committee that anything about the facts stated in the October 7 letter “(was) wrong.” As usual, I would ask you to completely and accurately relate the facts rather than attempt to create an impression that is misleading based on an incomplete and selection recitation of the facts. In fact, my understanding is the CIA advised the committee in a very brief email late Saturday night that it had reviewed the material in question and asked for no material to be redacted. In fact, the name of the alleged source was redacted from the material cleared for public release by someone in the executive branch…”

So, it’s true that the ranking Democrat on the House Select Committee on Benghazi accused Trey Gowdy of misrepresenting facts and altering a document to paint Hillary Clinton in a negative light — but Gowdy has disputed those allegations. The CIA has declined to weigh-in publicly.