Questions about whether the Obama administration intentionally misled Americans by telling them the 2012 Benghazi attack was the result of a protest over a YouTube clip had been asked and answered ad nauseum before Hillary Clinton's appearance at a House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing Thursday.
Thanks to three new emails revealed during that hearing, the YouTube narrative has taken on a new life, emerging as the Republicans' sole victory in a face-off that overwhelmingly favored the former secretary of state.
Accusations that Clinton participated in an effort to conceal the nature of the attack by blaming it on an offensive video had long given way to concerns over her use of a private email or her relationship with Sidney Blumenthal, a divisive operative who advised her on Libya behind the scenes. Few expected the YouTube clip to play a major role in the hearing.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, first pressed the issue of the YouTube clip after Clinton delivered a lengthy account of how she learned about the unfolding violence on the evening of Sept. 11, 2012 that did not include a reference to the clip.
"You didn't mention a video because there was never a video-inspired protest in Benghazi. There was in Cairo, but not in Benghazi," Jordan said.
The Ohio Republican referenced an email Clinton sent to her daughter the evening of the attack in which she said an "al Qaeda-like group" had killed two State Department officials.
Another email revealed in the hearing contained notes from a Sept. 11, 2012 call between Clinton and the Libyan president that indicated Clinton told the Libyans she understood an al Qaeda affiliate had initiated the attack.
The final email outlined a call the following day between Clinton and the Egyptian prime minister in which she told him "the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film."
Together, the three emails gave critics fresh fodder to use against Clinton after a hearing that raised few other unanswered questions for the former secretary of state.
Matt Wolking, spokesman for committee Republicans, dismissed Democrats' suggestions that the hearing did not uncover anything new.
"In addition to Secretary Clinton's muddled explanation of her emails and conversations from the night of the attack and the day after, the hearing produced a lot of new information," Wolking told the Washington Examiner.
"We learned that she did not sign a waiver as the Secretary of State is required to do by law, even though the Benghazi facility did not meet standard security requirements. We learned that she did not talk to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs or the Secretary of Defense when her people were taking fire," Wolking said. "We saw that she has no basis for claiming that 90 to 95 percent of her emails were in the State Department system, and we heard her say she was under no obligation to turn over any of her Libya-related emails with Sidney Blumenthal unless she deemed them work-related."
The State Department cast doubt on Clinton's claim that the vast majority of her emails were captured by the agency's server when a spokesman on Friday was unable to answer questions about how and why Clinton cited the "90 to 95 percent" figure.
"This further calls into question the completeness of her public record, considering the fact that the State Department confirmed that she did not turn over 15 Libya-related emails," Wolking added.
Blumenthal turned over 15 emails discussing Libya to the committee in June that the State Department never provided, forcing the agency to admit that Clinton had never submitted them.
Carly Fiorina, a Republican candidate for president and fierce critic of Clinton's, admitted the Democratic front-runner "did reasonably well" in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" the day after the hearing.
But Fiorina seized on the issue of the YouTube clip, foreshadowing the line of attack that many of her fellow Republicans would take up in the coming days.
"She never answered a fundamental question, and the fundamental question is this: knowing that this was a purposeful terrorist attack on the night it occurred, why did you go the next morning and address the American people and talk about a videotape that didn't represent the values of America?" Fiorina said of Clinton. "And why did you continue to do that over the bodies of the fallen and for many weeks thereafter?"
Sen. Marco Rubio, another GOP presidential contender, said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that he thought the hearing proved Clinton intentionally misled the public about the 2012 terror attack.
"People may think she had a good week," Rubio said. "I think this was the week that it was proven that she lied about Benghazi."
Family members of Benghazi victims cited the YouTube revelations as the most shocking moments of the hearing last week.
"The thing that was shocking – one of the pinnacle moments – was the revelation she told her family there was a terrorist attack while she told America something else," Michael Ingmire, uncle of Sean Smith, told Fox News.
Kate Quigley, the sister of Glen Doherty, said Clinton met with Doherty's family and told them "how sad we should feel for the Libyan people, because they're uneducated, and that breeds fear, which breeds violence."
"When I think back now to that day and what she knew, it shows me a lot about her character that she would choose in that moment to basically perpetuate what she knew was untrue," Quigley said in an appearance on CNN Thursday.