After more than two years of investigation, the House Select Committee on Benghazi has cleared Hillary Clinton of any wrongdoing in her role as Secretary of State during the 2012 attack in Libya that killed four U.S. troops. The Committee released an 800-page final report Tuesday morning that detailed the findings of the lengthy investigation, which the New York Times reports cost $7 million.
While the report cleared Clinton of any fault in the 2012 attack, the Committee leveraged strong criticisms against the CIA, the Defense Department, and the State Department for their failure to understand the dangers present in Libya and for setting up posts they could not keep safe. But the Committee agreed with earlier findings which argued that American forces in Europe would not have been able to arrive to Libya in enough time to rescue the troops in Benghazi who were killed.
The report was essentially an indictment on major government agencies involved with the U.S.'s presence in Libya, who the Republican-led Committee saw as ill-prepared to respond to major attacks. The committee wrote,
The assets ultimately deployed by the Defense Department in response to the Benghazi attacks were not positioned to arrive before the final lethal attack. The fact that this is true does not mitigate the question of why the world’s most powerful military was not positioned to respond.
Clinton was questioned at length multiple times during the investigation and thousands of her emails from her time as Secretary of State were combed through by the Committee. Throughout the investigation, Democrats have argued that it was unnecessary and merely a ploy by House Republicans to interfere with Clinton's presidential campaign.
The Clinton campaign responded to the report with a press release on Tuesday from Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallon. Fallon reiterated claims that the entire investigation was a sham, writing that the "Committee's chief goal is to politicize the deaths of four brave Americans in order to try to attack the Obama administration and hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign."
Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan issued a statement on the report with a more positive spin, saying it was an earnest effort by House Republicans to bring the truth to the public: