Today, top-level Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin sat down for a closed-door hearing with Trey Gowdy’s (R-SC) Benghazi Committee. Her testimony is just a warm-up act, though—next Thursday, Clinton herself will testify before the panel in a public hearing. (Be prepared for fireworks—covered right here at Legal Insurrection.)

The Clinton campaign—on which Huma is a senior advisor—said they are “unclear” as to why the committee wishes to question their latest witness.

This next series of hearings is important for Gowdy and the committee; ever since House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) dropped his massive Benghazi gaffe late last month, the Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton, have been on a mission to shut the committee down. They claim that McCarthy’s gaffe proves that Gowdy and other Republicans set the committee up as a shell operation, and that their real purpose is to attack and ruin Clinton’s chances at the presidency.

Gowdy has had to fire back at a barrage of accusations not only from the Clinton camp, but from Democrats and even members of his own party that Huma’s testimony, and the overall mission of the committee, is not politically motivated.

Via Fox News:

But Gowdy, R-S.C., has fired back at the accusations, and insisted the committee is only interested in getting at the truth in the Benghazi attacks.

He put out a strong statement decrying Hanna’s comments, saying he “has never asked for a briefing by the committee staff.”

“Running investigations in a private, fact-centric way is unquestionably the right way to conduct a serious investigation. The pitfall, of course, is that commentators, and sometimes even Members of your own Conference, offer thoughts on matters on which they are not familiar,” he said.

“My team of investigators, drawn from the military, federal agencies and the congressional oversight and ethics committees, has worked hard, and in an above-board manner. It is unfortunate when claims are made by those who do not know what the committee has done, why it has done it, or the results of its work. We made a promise to the families about the integrity of this investigation, and no one on the majority side has forgotten it.”

As was mentioned above, Huma’s testimony was “behind closed doors,” which means that under normal circumstances, the committee wouldn’t release information about the back-and-forth between panel and witness. Because of the political rancor swirling around the committee, its mission, and it’s chairman, though, Gowdy elected to release the parameters of today’s questioning:

“The events leading up to, during and after the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012 and executive branch activities and efforts to comply with congressional inquiries into them.”

Note that the committee specifically said it would not question her about her “special employee status,” which allowed her to work for the Clinton Foundation and as a consultant while working at the State Department.

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