Defense

Benghazi chairman calls Clinton to testify

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The leader of the House Select Committee on Benghazi has requested former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to appear before the panel next month.
 
In a letter to Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) asks that the 2016 presidential contender testify before the committee “the week of May 18.”
 
{mosads}If the 12-member committee is satisfied that Clinton has turned all over relevant documentation from her time as the top U.S. diplomat, Gowdy wants her to appear again to talk about the deadly 2012 assault the next month.
 
“If that hearing results in assurances the public record is indeed complete, the Committee will schedule Secretary Clinton’s public hearing with respect to the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi no later than June 18, 2015, with specific date being selected after consultation with you,” he wrote.
 
The request for Clinton to speak two times in an open setting is a shift for Gowdy, who has insisted that she would first have to appear in a closed-door session to discuss her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of State, and then later in an open hearing to go over the events of the attack.
 
“Asking members on either side of the aisle to elect between asking questions about the security of our facilities in Benghazi versus asking questions about the security of her personal server and whether any protected information was received or sent via email is an untenable choice,” he wrote.
 
Still, Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, showed he is not about to give Clinton a pass on her personal email use, including a list of 136 sample questions on the topic in his missive to Kendall.
 
“Suffice it to say our members have more questions,” he wrote.
 
The letter comes in response to one from Kendall on Wednesday that rejected Gowdy’s request for Clinton to testify behind closed doors.
 
“There is no reason to delay her appearance or to have her testify in a private interview,” he said.

For his part, Gowdy defended his actions not to schedule Clinton’s appearances until he was confident he had all relevant documents, adding that he only had eight of her emails in November and now has 300.

“Simply put, thank goodness the committee did not schedule Secretary Clinton’s appearance when some asked us to, or else that hearing would have been woefully and now obviously premature,” he told Kendall.
 
Earlier Thursday, the panel’s top Democrat chastised the investigation’s “glacial pace.”
 
“The Republicans’ multi-year search for evidence to back up their Benghazi conspiracy theories has turned up nothing. The Select Committee has identified no evidence — documentary, testimonial, or otherwise — to support claims that Secretary Clinton ordered a stand-down, approved an illicit weapons program, or any other wild allegation Republicans have made for years,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said in a statement.

— Updated at 3:23 p.m.

Tags Benghazi Hillary Clinton Trey Gowdy

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