Benghazi Disappears from Hillary’s State Dept. Calendar

Mislabeled dates in Clinton's schedule around the Sept. 11, 2012, attack raise questions

by Brendan Kirby | Updated 21 Oct 2016 at 7:41 AM

Copies of Hillary Clinton’s schedule as secretary of state from Sept. 1 to Sept. 9 in 2012 were labeled with the wrong year in State Department records.

Those just happen to be the days leading up to the terrorist attacks that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11 of that year. But instead of 2012, the records label those days 2010.

“The State Department should explain this error to the American people in detail and correct the record immediately.”

The conservative advocacy group Citizens United, which requested the full schedule for Clinton’s four years in office under the Freedom of Information Act, discovered the discrepancy after the State Department produced the records for 2012 this week.

Left uncorrected, it is conceivable that an organization or a person may in the future file a FOIA request for Clinton’s public schedule in September 2012 and be told that the first nine days do not exist.

“Accuracy matters,” Citizens United political director J.T. Mastranadi wrote in response to questions from LifeZette. “The State Department should explain this error to the American people in detail and correct the record immediately.”

When Citizens United lawyers inquired, State Department lawyers attributed it to a coding error that occurred at the time the documents were made and explained that FOIA requires the government only to produce records as they exist, not correct errors.

The schedule for those days is different from the activities described for real Sept. 1-9 period in 2010 that the State Department gave Citizens United in May. The records with the mislabeled dates appear to reflect her true schedule for early September 2012 and do not suggest anything unusual.

Still, the error raises obvious questions. When did the State Department discover it? Why has it not corrected it? And does it plan to correct it?

A State Department official declined to answer questions about the matter, citing department policy not to comment on litigation.

The latest release of schedules completes an order by a federal judge for the State Department to speed up its production of the documents. Citizens United and the Associated Press both requested the daily calendars. Initially, the State Department had said it would not be able to comply until after the election.

The judge ordered the agency to move faster.

The AP used partial records to determine that more than half of Clinton's meetings during that time period with people not employed by the U.S. or foreign governments donated money to the Clinton Foundation, fueling allegations that she ran a "pay-to-play" scheme as secretary of state.

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