Benghazi report ups pressure on Hillary

A new bipartisan Senate report on Benghazi is putting pressure on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMcAuliffe says he won't run for president in 2020 Chuck Todd slams reports that DOJ briefed Trump on Mueller findings: 'This is actual collusion' Crowdfund campaign to aid historically black churches hit by fires raises over M MORE to come back to Capitol Hill to testify about the 2012 terror attack.


The Senate Intelligence panel concluded Wednesday that the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans could – and should – have been prevented. It also faulted the Obama administration and the intelligence community for not quickly dispelling the notion that the attack grew out of a peaceful protest.

“I would hope that the Foreign Relations Committee will take that report and they will look at the unanswered questions,” the top Republican on the Intelligence panel, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), told The Hill. “And that they will bring before the committee anybody – and there's several others in addition to Hillary Clinton who should come – but anybody who has knowledge of the facts leading up to the lack of proper security at the Benghazi mission before the attack.”

Senate Foreign Relations member John McCain (R-Ariz.) agreed, but was skeptical anything would happen. “I think it'd be great idea” for Clinton to testify, he said. “But I just don't see any appetite. Maybe in the House. But in the Senate, [Democrats] are in the majority. They wouldn't call her.”

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDems say attorney general undermined credibility with Trump talking point Pollster says there is no downside to Dems jumping into 2020 primary Senate confirms Trump's pick for ambassador to Saudi Arabia MORE (R-Fla.), a potential Clinton rival in the 2016 presidential election, said the former secretary of State’s “failure to provide adequate security for our deployed personnel in Benghazi” warranted further investigation.

“Throughout this investigation, the Obama administration was more of a roadblock than a contributor to committee efforts to look into the root cause of these attacks,” Rubio said in a statement. “This is especially troubling given that no one at the State Department, which has direct responsibility for the safety of U.S. diplomatic posts overseas, has been held accountable.”

Benghazi has emerged as a black mark on Clinton's record that could hurt her if she decides to run for president. She has sought to put the criticism to rest, notably by declaring that she took responsibility during a Senate hearing last year and quickly adopting the recommendations of the State Department's independent Accountability Review Board's [ARB] investigation into the attack.

Clinton is only mentioned once in the report, in an appendix written by Republican members of the committee.

“Ultimately, however, the final responsibility for security at diplomatic facilities lies with the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton," the Republican senators wrote.

“At the end of the day, she was responsible for ensuring the safety of all Americans serving in our diplomatic facilities. Her failure to do so clearly made a difference in the lives of the four murdered Americans and their families.”

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said he hadn't been briefed on the new report, but added that his panel had already “exhausted this issue.”

“We've had a series of hearings – including with former Secretary Clinton, with Secretary [of State John] Kerry, with the leaders of the ARB, with those who are in charge of embassy security,” he told The Hill. “I don't know what would move me to have more of a hearing.”

Senate Intelligence panel Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) urged the State Department to use the report to ensure U.S. embassies are secure.

“I think where this report goes is that there needs to be better analysis within State of intelligence, and that they really need to move to see that these facilities are secure,” she told reporters. “I believe to the extent I know that that is happening. There are other facilities that are potentially dangerous and they know which they are and I think they need to tend to that.”

Shortly after the report was released Wednesday, the State Department issued a statement that updated how the department has implemented the 24 unclassified recommendations in the ARB report from December, 2012.

--This report was updated at 2:34 p.m.