Watch Hillary’s Amazing Facial Expressions At The Benghazi Hearing

Photo: Evan Vucci/AP Photo.
The day none of us have been waiting for is here! Hillary Clinton spent literally all day Tuesday answering questions in front of Congress about the 2012 attack in Benghazi. Clinton had already offered testimony, during which she answered questions about the attack back in 2013, and Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy's committee is the eighth congressional investigation into the matter so far. Today's hearing is supposedly about an attack on the U.S. embassy and CIA annex in Libya, which resulted in the death of four Americans. However, the seemingly endless inquiries have led many to question whether the taxpayer-funded investigations are politically motivated (a suspicion GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy confirmed — in fact, bragged about — during a Fox News interview last month.) This isn't to say the hearings are unimportant. This is a huge media moment for Hillary Clinton as presidential candidate, and how she comports herself today could make or break her campaign. (It's also a big political opportunity for many of the representatives grilling her, a fact certainly not lost on them.) The best part of the day was clearly Clinton's amazing facial expressions: as she got cut off, hounded, interrupted, and badgered by her questioners, she didn't always manage to keep a poker face.
Hillary Clinton's Best Expressions During The Benghazi Hearing

Hillary's face during the Benghazi hearings pretty much says it all

Posted by NowThis Politics on Thursday, October 22, 2015
Here are some of the other big moments. “I don't plan on cutting off any of your answers.” —Rep. Trey Gowdy

In the wake of supercuts of Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, being interrupted by predominantly male members of Congress, the chairman of the committee opened up the Q&A period by assuring Clinton she would not receive the same treatment. Gowdy requested brevity but completeness. Though things have gotten contentious, the statement definitely set the tone for the hearings, and the questioners have, by and large, followed through on Gowdy's promise. The closest breach came when Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), miffed that Clinton's staff was handing her notes during his questioning, offered up this passive-aggressive gem when she began to speak. “I'm not done with my question; I'm just giving you the courtesy of reading your note.”
Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.
I did not do the vast majority of my work on email.” —Hillary Clinton

Perhaps the most oft-discussed finding of these investigations has been that Clinton set up a private email server from which she conducted state business. This has become a huge campaign issue for Clinton, more so than issues of security at the embassy, which Clinton suggested ought to be the focus of the committee. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), piles upon piles of Clinton's printed-out emails in tow, attempted to use the visual aid to suggest that Clinton's attention to Benghazi waned between 2011 and 2012. In particular, she noted that attacks on the compound prior to September 2012 hadn't received a single mention in the files. She inadvertently gave Clinton an opportunity to note that she received cables, classified briefings, and had many phone and in-person conversations during her time as secretary of state. Clinton was very clear that these made up the bulk of her communications, diminishing the importance of "Server-gate."

Photo: MSNBC.

“You can't tell your own people the truth.” - Rep. Jim Jordan

The tone and style of Rep. Jim Jordan's aggressive questioning of Clinton were super unfortunate (despite the delightful meme opportunities that resulted), because he raised one of the more legitimate questions of the hearing. Some of you may recall that, prior to the attacks in Benghazi, an offensive video resulted in violent protests in Cairo. In the midst of the attack, Clinton mentioned the video in a statement. “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” her statement read, “The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others...But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.” Jordan insisted, citing evidence from Clinton's e-mails, that at the time of the statement she was well aware that the Benghazi attacks were unrelated to the video, and was instead a strategic act by a terrorist group. Clinton responded, fairly, that the statement was intended to quell tensions in the region, including lethal protests in Cairo (where no Americans were killed). However, the Obama administration stuck to this narrative long after the flames had quelled, and it was absolutely a convenient one in the weeks prior to a presidential election. The specifics of Jordan's questions were perhaps misguided, but the issue does raise broader ones about her overemphasis on political expediency, which has been a liability for the Clinton campaign so far.

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