Clinton Benghazi hearing set for Dec. 20

Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE’s testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, has been set for Dec. 20.

Clinton will appear at the opening hearing to discuss the deadly September attack that claimed the lives of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

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Clinton’s testimony will come after the anticipated release of an independent report reviewing the State Department’s handling of security for its diplomats in Benghazi.

Republican lawmakers have questioned if the Obama administration ignored earlier threats to the U.S. mission in Libya and denied requests from State officials on the ground for heightened security.

Clinton will also likely address the administration response to the attack. 

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice initially blamed the violence on a spontaneous protest sparked by an anti-Islam video. The White House later acknowledged that the attack was a planned terrorist assault.

GOP lawmakers question if the administration downplayed the terrorist angle for political gain ahead of the election.

President Obama, though, has defended Rice and said her statements were based on intelligence reports and were not intended to mislead.

Rice has been seen as a possible replacement for Clinton, but many GOP senators have suggested they would block her nomination over her handling of Benghazi.

Rice headed to Capitol Hill last month for a series of meetings with GOP lawmakers that failed to stem the criticism, with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration We are running out of time to protect Dreamers US trade deficit rises on record imports from China MORE (R-S.C.) saying he was “more disturbed” after speaking with the ambassador.