An American arms dealer claims he was made a scapegoat for an Obama-and-Clinton-led 2011 plot to arm Libyan rebels that saw arms flowing to Al Qaeda, ISIS and the Benghazi attackers. Marc Turi faced trial for illegally selling arms, but charges in the five-year, $10 million case were dropped on October 5.
That's because, he told Fox News, Democrats were worried about political blowback for Clinton if it emerged that the government had accidentally put weapons in the hands of America's enemies.
'I would say, 100 percent, I was victimized,' he told the channel, 'to somehow discredit me, to throw me under the bus, to do whatever it took to protect their next presidential candidate.'
He says that the government cut him out and sold arms to Libyan rebels during Arab Spring, but the guns went to ISIS, Al Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia, which was behind Benghazi attack
Turi, 48, told Fox that the Obama administration had wanted to arm Libyan rebels to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi during the Arab Spring uprising, but were stopped by a UN sanction on arms sales to the country.
He said he came up with a plan to sell weapons to US allies in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates who would then pass them on to Libya, but was cut out of the deal by Clinton's State Department and the CIA, who transported the weapons themselves.
Those weapons, he said, then went to just about everyone in Libya and Syria - friend and foe alike - after rebels got their hands on them.
Fox News asked Turi whether Al Qaeda, Ansar al-Sharia (the group behind the Benghazi attack), or ISIS - which was formed in 1999 - got the weapons; he replied: 'All of them, all of them, all of them.'
He says the Justice Department then attempted to scapegoat him, charging him with two counts of illegal arms dealing and two of lying on his State Department weapons application - despite him never actually selling anything.
Turi says Obama dropped the case against him for fear it would reveal Clinton's department's behind-the-scenes deals in secret transcripts
But taking the case to court would require them to publicly release transcripts acknowledging the secret weapons program, he told Fox.
'Those transcripts, from current as well as former CIA officers, were classified,' he said.
'If any of these relationships [had] been revealed it would have opened up a can of worms. There wouldn't have been any good answer for the US government especially in this election year.'
Instead, the government failed to meet an October 5 deadline to deliver discovery documents in the case and allowed it to be thrown out with prejudice - meaning it cannot be pursued again.
Had the case gone forward, it would have begun on November 8 - Election Day.
Turi says he emailed his idea about arming the rebels via the UAE and Qatar to Chris Stevens, then US envoy to the Libyan opposition on April 7, 2011.
The following day, Clinton suggested to her aide in an email: 'fyi. the idea of using private security experts to arm the opposition should be considered.'
That's not a coincidence, Turi says. And he believes Clinton's team deleted emails about the plan that 'would have gone to an organization within the Bureau of Political Military affairs within the State Department known as PM/RSAT (Office of Regional Security and Arms Transfers.)'
He added that the incident might be linked to the 2012 Benghazi attack, in which Islamist militants killed 11 people - four of them Americans - when they attacked the US consulate in the Libyan city.
He said that 'there’s a backstory to the actual buy-back program of the surface-to-air missiles that were shipped and mysteriously disappeared out of Benghazi,' but said the details would wait for 'another time.'
Turi also believes that Clinton deleted emails that would have gone to the Bureau of Political Military Affairs within the State Department concerning the plot
The arms seller's ordeal is now over, but it left its mark on him.
'I am glad this horrific five-year ordeal is over and I am pleased to be able to move on with my life,' he told Fox News last week.
'The American public has the right to know that an injustice was committed against an innocent American.'
He added that defending himself had taken away his life as well as his money and company.
'I still don't really know who the unjust actors were who launched this attack against me from the shadows. I just hope that someday there will be someone that will be held accountable.'
The arms dealer says his life and business were ruined by the five-year, $10m case against him, which was dropped last week when prosecutors declined to file discovery documents
Details of Turi's defense remain mired in secrecy with prosecutors saying 'discovery rulings' by US District Court Judge David Campbell led to the decision to drop the case.
A joint motion by both sets of lawyers asks Judge Campbell to accept a confidential agreement to resolve the case through a civil settlement between the State Department and Turi.
As a result Turi admitted no guilt in the transactions he participated in and escaped a $200,000 fine, but agreed to refrain from arms dealing for four years.
A State Department official told Politico: 'Mr Turi cooperated with the Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls in its review and proposed administrative settlement of the alleged violations.'
Libyan rebels secure a checkpoint on a road east of Tripoli in September 2011. Turi was accused of selling weapons to the rebels with the authorization of the State Department
One of Turi's lawyers, Jean-Jacques Cabou, told Politico last week: 'Our position from the outset has been that this case never should have been brought and we're glad it's over.
'Mr Turi didn't break the law… We're very glad the charges are being dismissed.'
Clinton has already attracted significant flak from Donald Trump for her handling of the Benghazi episode.
Trump accused Lester Holt, the moderator of the first presidential debate, of letting Mrs Clinton off when it came to Benghazi.
WILL WE GET TO THE BOTTOM OF WHAT HAPPENED IN LIBYA?
In February 2011, inspired by the 'Arab spring' revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, violent protests against the dictator, Colonel Gaddafi, broke out in Benghazi.
By March rebels in the east of Libya were engaged in a full-on civil war with forces loyal to Gaddafi and the UN Security Council authorizes a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians from air strikes.
In July 2011 the National Transitional Council was recognized by the West as the legitimate government of Libya.
In August 2011, as his forces retreat, Gaddafi went into hiding and his wife flees to Algeria.
On 20 October 2011 Gaddafi was captured and killed by rebels in his hometown, Sirte.
But the new Libyan government struggled to keep the country together and in September 2012 Christopher Stevens, the US ambassador, and three other Americans are killed when Islamist militants storm the consulate in Benghazi.
In January 2014 the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence delivered a bipartisan report on the attacks and ruled they were 'preventable'.
In August this year, about 30 emails that may be related to the attack on the Benghazi compound were among thousands of Hillary Clinton emails recovered during the investigation into her use of a private server.