By Julian Pecquet - 09/18/13 03:29 PM EDT
Kennedy is the first official to testify before Congress since the State Department's decision last month to reassign four employees. An independent audit had recommended that two of the four employees “leave their jobs.”
Kennedy defended the decision, which has infuriated Republicans.
“I respectfully disagree,” he said. “Four employees were relieved of their senior positions. To me that is serious accountability.”
Kennedy's testimony is but one of three Benghazi hearings this week as House Republicans ramp up their investigation following the first anniversary of the terror attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11, 2012. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is under pressure to create a select committee to investigate security lapses that has the support of more than 170 members of his caucus.