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Clinton adviser says he will cooperate with Benghazi panel

Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and other members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi speak to reporters at a press conference on the findings of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's personal emails at the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

Gabriella Demczuk, Getty Images

Sidney Blumenthal, a Clinton ally who was once an aide to former President Bill Clinton and advised Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign, says he intends to cooperate with the House committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks.

"From time to time, as a private citizen and friend, I provided Secretary Clinton with material on a variety of topics that I thought she might find interesting or helpful," Blumenthal, who was subpoenaed to testify before the House panel, said Thursday in a statement released by his lawyer. "The reports I sent her came from sources I considered reliable. I have informed the House Select Committee on Benghazi that I will cooperate with its inquiry and look forward to answering the Committee's questions."

Blumenthal's relationship with the Democratic presidential candidate came under scrutiny this week after leaked emails between the two showed his role informally advising Clinton during her State Department tenure. The messages were part of the 55,000 pages that the former state secretary handed over to the department from her personal email address.

Of the documents published by the New York Times from Hillary Clinton's personal email account, about two-thirds of the pages released involved memos to Clinton from Blumenthal about the situation in Libya. The leaked missives from Blumenthal, typically between two and four pages long, started during the rebel uprising in March of 2011 and continued through the Benghazi attacks in September of 2012. The messages spanned a time when Blumenthal continued to work for the Clinton family foundation, according to the Washington Post.

Clinton has previously answered questions on her relationship with Blumenthal, saying Blumenthal has "been a friend of mine for a long time."

"He's sent me unsolicited emails which I passed on in some instances," the 2016 candidate told reporters Tuesday in Cedar Falls, Iowa. "And I see that that's just part of the give and take. When you're in a public eye, when you're in an official position, I think you do have to work to make sure you're not caught in a bubble and you only hear from a certain small group of people.

"I'm going to keep talking to my old friends, whoever they are," Clinton added.