Hillary Clinton Benghazi Testimony Set For Wednesday in House and Senate
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 23 regarding the fatal Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
Clinton had been scheduled to testify last month, but was hospitalized as she suffered from a concussion when she fell while ill, followed by a blood-clot in her head.
Last month, four state department officials were disciplined when the review of the security failures that resulted in the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens at the consulate in Libya showed that there were "systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies" on behalf of the state department. According to the unclassified version of the report, the failures stemmed from the security plan itself, which was "inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place."
According to CNN, state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland stated that after the report, one official resigned and three others were placed on administrative leave and were relieved of their duties.
Clinton will testify on Wednesday, and will most likely face questions regarding the her department’s management and handling of security for diplomatic personnel.
According to CNN, chairman of the panel, Republican Ed Royce of California, has said his intention for the hearing is “to focus on why this attack was not better anticipated, what leadership failures at the state department existed and what management deficiencies need to be corrected in order to better secure our diplomatic facilities abroad and protect our diplomats serving in them."
He also added that, "It is important to learn all we can about what happened in Benghazi because at the end of the day, it could happen again .… After all, Al-Qaeda plans attacks over and over again.”
On the same day, Clinton will also testify on Benghazi in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC).
Senator Lindsey Graham (R - S.C.) told Fox News, that as the likely replacement of Clinton, John Kerry, who is the chair of the SFRC, “needs to know what (Clinton) says.”
The Republican lawmakers have declared many times that it’s vital to hear directly from Clinton on the events in Benghazi before she leaves office in order to help pave the way for Kerry’s confirmation in the senate.
In response to the onslaught of criticism from the Republicans, Clinton accepted "every one" of the recommendations given by the review board and has vowed to correct the failures in her department. She also said that the state department has begun the process of hiring additional security for diplomatic personnel and is currently working with the Pentagon to dispatch Marine Corps security guards to U.S. embassies and missions.
Senator Bob Corker (R - Tenn.), who serves on the SFRC has said, “She’s anxious to want to come up and testify on Benghazi, and I think that’s an important thing both for her and for our entire country.”
Despite Kerry initially excusing Clinton from testifying, it seems that her coming clean about the events of Benghazi will only aid in his senate confirmation, and he will be there on the panel alongside his likely successor on the committee, New Jersey Democrat Senator Bob Menendez to preside over the hearing.