Hillary Clinton Will Testify Over 2012 Benghazi Attacks
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify on October 22 before a panel about the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, her spokesman said, a claim quickly challenged by the Republican-led committee.
The committee is investigating actions taken by Clinton, a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, surrounding the attacks that left United States Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others dead.
Clinton had offered to testify publicly and finally reached an agreement with the panel’s chairman, Republican Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, spokesman Nick Merrill said in an email on Saturday.
However, Jamal Ware, a spokesman for the committee, indicated there was no deal yet and that the two sides were still hashing out the timing and scope of Clinton’s appearance.
Ware said in an emailed statement on Saturday that negotiations were “ongoing” between the committee and Clinton’s lawyer David Kendall.
Merrill didn’t respond to follow-up questions and Kendall couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
Clinton also has faced questions about her use of a personal email account and private computer server while she was secretary of state.
The account contained some information that should have been classified and transmitted over a secure network, according to a report from the US intelligence community’s inspector general, Charles McCullough III.
The report said none of the emails reviewed by its office was labeled as classified. However, the federal watchdog asked the FBI to review whether potentially classified material had been jeopardized during a State Department review of the documents in preparation for releasing them publicly.
The FBI referral followed a June 29 memo that McCullough and the State Department’s inspector general sent to Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy, saying that hundreds of emails in Clinton’s private account may improperly have contained classified material.
The Benghazi panel believes that Clinton’s email arrangement falls within the scope of its jurisdiction, Ware said.
“The committee will not, now or ever, accept artificial limitations on its Congressional-directed jurisdiction or efforts to meet the responsibilities assigned to the committee by the House of Representatives,” he said.
More Clinton emails are expected to be released by the State Department next week, Merrill said in his statement.
“We want to ensure that appropriate procedures are followed as these emails are reviewed while not unduly delaying the release of her emails,” he said.
“We particularly do not want their release to be hampered by bureaucratic infighting among the intelligence community.”