Mistakenly Leaked Transcript Shows Hillary Clinton’s Friend Raking In ‘Absurd’ Profit For Offering Advice

On Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported that, in their conclusions prepared for the House Benghazi committee, Democrats “apparently unintentionally” leaked an email showing that close Hillary Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal has been earning an “absurd” amount of money “just for, well, being in the orbit of the Clintons.”

This latest controversy comes in the midst of a wider problem for Secretary Clinton, who is currently under investigation for her use of a private email server during her time at the State Department.

Clinton has also come under intense criticism, largely from her primary opponent Bernie Sanders, for her fundraising, both for her political endeavors and for the Clinton Foundation.

Sidney Blumenthal is a long-time partner of the Clintons, having served as an aide to Hillary Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton.

This latest episode emerges at the tail end of an investigation into Secretary Clinton’s conduct during the attacks on the Libyan city of Benghazi in 2012. Democrats have long accused Republicans of using the investigations into the Benghazi attacks as an opportunity to run a political smear campaign against Clinton, and they have used as evidence the painfully long period of questioning Republicans had with Clinton, which resulted in little, if any, new information.

Democrats’ conclusions in their final report reflect this view, the Los Angeles Times reports, arguing, “once again, that the investigation is a politically motivated sham aimed at damaging the reputation of Hillary Clinton.”

There was, however, a piece of information within the report that Democrats perhaps did not want to be uncovered, as it was, as are so many important nuggets of information, redacted.

“But,” the Times notes, “the redaction marks are easily erased by anyone able to use a computer’s cut-and-paste function.”

And that is precisely what was done to this report, and a revealing transcript is now available to the public.

The transcript is of Republicans’ questioning of Sidney Blumenthal, which reveals that Blumenthal has profited greatly from his relationship with the Clintons.

When asked “how much the part-time work offering up advice and ideas was worth,” Blumenthal responded, “I’d say it’s about $200,000 a year.”

Later in the transcript, Blumenthal was asked how he secured such a position. He responded that he has “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.”

David Brock is a long-time political operative who heads the Clinton Super PAC “Correct the Record,” which has infamously paid individuals to debate and “correct” Clinton’s opponents online.

This latest leak is likely to be unwelcome to the Clinton campaign, as their candidate is coming off a week of surging poll numbers and a seemingly crumbling Donald Trump, who is failing miserably to raise money and is running a campaign that is strikingly skeletal, relying heavily on Trump’s ability to draw near constant media attention.

The GOP’s report condemned Clinton for not doing enough to stop the attacks and to ensure adequate security.

The Democrats’ conclusion, on the other hand, was meant to undercut what they view as a blatant effort to use a tragedy to sabotage Clinton’s campaign for the presidency.

“In our opinion,” their report reads, “Chairman Gowdy has been conducting this investigation like an overzealous prosecutor desperately trying to land a front-page conviction rather than a neutral judge of facts seeking to improve the security of our diplomatic corps.”

They have, however, unveiled yet another conflict, one that is relatively minor, but one that sparks further questions about how truly lucrative financial dealings with the Clintons can be, and likely fueling further interest in Clinton’s relationships with other influential political figures, raising possible conflicts that will be difficult for the Clintons to rebut.

[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]

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