Midday Roundup: Clinton aides accused of scrubbing Benghazi docs
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 9/15/14, 11:50 am
Benghazi bombshell. A former U.S. State Department leader has accused the agency’s employees of filtering out potentially damaging documents before giving them to the review board that investigated the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Raymond Maxwell, a former deputy assistant secretary, told The Daily Signal he personally saw employees who were close to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton going through documents in a basement room at the State Department on a Sunday afternoon. One of the employees told him, “We are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody … in a bad light.” Later this week, the House Select Committee on Benghazi will have its first public hearing taking a new look at the security response to the attack.
Meanwhile, in Iowa. Hillary Clinton continued priming the pump for her all-but-official 2016 presidential campaign with a weekend trip to Iowa. After Clinton came in third in primaries there in 2008, analysts blamed her for not getting in enough face-time with the state’s voters. On Sunday, Clinton spoke at Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry, then worked the rope line for more than half an hour, shaking hands and chatting with voters about having a grandchild on-the-way. Former President Bill Clinton followed close behind in a red gingham shirt that screamed, maybe a little too loudly, “I’m just a normal guy hanging out at a picnic.”
In the line of duty. A gunman ambushed two Pennsylvania state troopers outside the troop barracks late Friday, killing 38-year-old Cpl. Bryon K. Dickson II and seriously wounding Trooper Alex Douglass, 31. The attack happened at about 10:50 p.m. as one trooper was arriving and another was leaving. Troopers at the barracks in tiny Blooming Grove, Pa., patrol a mostly rural area about 35 miles east of Scranton. Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers is offering a $50,000 reward for information about the shooting.
Queen of cups. The reigning Miss New York became Miss America for the third year in a row last night. This morning, the Internet is buzzing about winner Kira Kazantsev’s talent, a cover of the Pharrell Williams song “Happy.” She sang while drumming on a red plastic cup. The act was a nod to the teen-favorite movie Pitch Perfect, in which too-cool-for-school Anna Kendrick sits cross-legged on a stage and beats a rhythm with a cup for an a cappella troupe audition. Was Kazantsev trying to be similarly ironic, or just cute? She said she wanted to inspire little girls to do what they wanted no matter what anyone else said.
Goodell on defense. Critics of National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell kept turning up the heat this past weekend over his handling of a player charged with domestic violence. The women’s advocacy group UltraViolet flew banners reading “#GoodellMustGo” over three NFL stadiums Sunday. One of those was the brand new Levi’s Stadium, home to the San Francisco 49ers, where Goodell skipped his planned appearance at the venue’s first regular season game. Goodell faces criticism for giving Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice a light, two-game suspension when he was first accused of assaulting his fiancée, who is now his wife. The league upped the punishment to an indefinite suspension last week after gossip site TMZ posted a video showing Rice hitting Janay Palmer in a casino elevator.