As the Democrats hurried to get ahead of the news cycle by releasing a report of their own in advance of the official House Select Committee's report on Benghazi, they also unveiled how a longtime Clinton friend and adviser is benefiting monetarily from their friendship.
Part of what the Democrats released contained a redacted transcript of Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal answering committee's questions during the investigation. The redaction marks were easily lifted and as the LA Times reports, the transcript reveals negative things for both Republicans and Democrats. For Republicans, the transcript showed that the investigation was used in part to dig into Blumenthal's financial contracts with David Brock, the founder of liberal website Media Matters. On the other hand, the transcript revealed how lucrative it can be to be a close Clinton friend - not that readers of this site are shocked at that statement. As a reminder of the most recent finding, a Clinton Foundation donor and high frequency trader - with absolutely no experience in the field - found himself magically placed as a nuclear weapons advisor to Hillary during her tenure as Secretary of State.
We know that being a Clinton can be lucrative, even if you have to explain why all of your in-laws rich friends lost all of their investment with you sometimes. But it turns out that being a close friend of the Clinton's can be almost as financially rewarding.
As the LA Times reports, here is the transcript in question that shows Sidney Blumenthal admitting that due to his friendship with the Clinton's and by extension Clinton ally David Brock, he makes around $200,000 a year giving consulting advice to Brock's businesses.
Q: Okay. And what was your relationship with Media Matters at that time period?
A: I was a consultant to Media Matters. I’m sorry I—
Q: That’s okay.
A: I overlooked that.
Q: When did you become a consultant for Media Matters?
A: I would say the very end of 2012.
Q: Okay. And how did that come about, that you became a consultant for Media Matters?
A: I have had a very long friendship with the chairman of Media Matters, whose name is David Brock, from before he founded this organization, and I have sustained that friendship. And he asked me to help provide ideas and advice to him and his organizations.
Q: So you began your relationship, your paid relationship, with Media Matters at the end of 2012.
Q: Does that continue to this day?
A: It does.
Q: Okay. And what is your salary or your contract with Media Matters? How much money are you earning from them?
A: I’d say it’s about $200,000 a year.
Q: And has that been roughly consistent from when you began receiving payment from Media Matters?
*[redacted due to Chairman Gowdy’s refusal to allow release of transcript].
A: I would say it’s — I’d have to check. I think it’s increased a little bit. It’s increased some.
Q: Okay. Are you familiar with the organization American Bridge?
Q: Have you received any compensation from American Bridge over the last five years?
Q: Okay. And how much compensation have you received from American Bridge?
A: Well, when I talk about that amount of money, I mean all of those organizations.
Q: So all of David Brock’s entities —
Q: — combined are 200,000?
A: Something like that.
Readers might also recall that Blumenthal was one of the names left off the official Secretary of State calendar during times when he and Clinton would meet.
The AP noted that Clinton's calendar also repeatedly omitted private dinners with political donors, policy sessions with groups of corporate leaders and "drop-bys" with old Clinton campaign hands and advisers. Among the names that were omitted from Clinton's schedule but again were found on the detailed planning documents were longtime adviser Sidney Blumenthal, consultant and former Clinton White House chief of staff Thomas "Mack" McLarty, former energy lobbyist Joseph Wilson and entertainment magnate and Clinton campaign bundler Haim Saban.
Here's one more interesting tidbit about Sidney Blumenthal - he was also employed by the Clinton Foundation during Hillary's tenure as Secretary of State to provide unsolicited intelligence on Libya. Now wouldn't that be something to leave on the official calendar?