Middle East/North Africa

Clinton facing calls to testify on Benghazi

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is facing new demands from Republicans to return to Capitol Hill and testify about the terror attacks in Benghazi.

{mosads}In an interview with USA Today, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Clinton should be compelled to testify under subpoena if she doesn’t return to Capitol Hill willingly. 

“I hope she would come back without that, but yes,” Graham told the newspaper. 

“I think she needs to come back and answer questions.”

He added that there’s “evidence that she was made aware of the security concerns and basically ignored security requests.”

Graham’s call to hear from Clinton comes as Republicans step up pressure on the White House to release emails related to the administration’s response to the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks. 

ABC News reported Friday that it had obtained 12 different versions of talking points on the attacks that showed the State Department had “extensive input” in changing original drafts written by the CIA. 

The drafts “suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department,” the network reported. “The edits included requests from the State Department that references to the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia be deleted as well references to CIA warnings about terrorist threats in Benghazi in the months preceding the attack.”

Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed when the consulate in Benghazi came under siege.  

In the immediate aftermath, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on several Sunday morning talk shows and said the attacks appeared to be the result of spontaneous protests. Subsequently the administration said Rice was basing her remarks on talking points prepared by the intelligence community. 

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday would not rule out a subpoena for Clinton, who testified before Congress last summer. 

Former Vice President Cheney, who met Thursday with House Republicans, urged them to subpoena Clinton, The Wall Street Journal reported

The developments follow emotional testimony on Benghazi this week by Gregory Hicks, who was the second highest-ranking diplomat in Libya at the time of the attacks. 

Hicks testified that Clinton called him at 2 a.m. on the night of the attacks. He also reported her chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, subsequently criticized him for talking to a visiting member of Congress about the attacks. 

“Did she [Clinton] know that Cheryl Mills called the DCM (deputy chief of mission) to tell him, watch the member of Congress and don’t talk to him?” Graham asked USA Today

The South Carolina senator has been among the GOP lawmakers most insistent on turning the focus of congressional inquiries on Benghazi on Clinton. 

“I think the dam is about to break on Benghazi. We’re going to find a system failure before, during, and after the attacks,” Graham wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday. “We’re going to find political manipulation seven weeks before an election. We’re going to find people asleep at the switch when it comes to the State Department, including Hillary Clinton.”

Tags Boehner Hillary Clinton John Boehner Lindsey Graham

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