The House and Senate foreign relations committees have already announced that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify on Benghazi next week, but the State Department said today that’s not a done deal.
Moreover, the State Department may not even share the report of its own internal review on Benghazi with Congress, a top State Department official said today.
Congress expects Clinton to testify Dec. 20 about the results of the Accountability Review Board, State’s internal review on the events leading up to and during the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi that resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevensand three other Americans. But the State Department said today that the work of the ARB, led by Tom Pickering and Adm. Mike Mullen, isn’t complete yet and so the State Department can’t confirm she will testify next week.
“We ask our diplomats and development personnel to operate in some of the most dangerous places on the planet,” Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said in a statement today announcing the hearing. “We owe it to them, and we owe it to the memory of Ambassador Chris Stevens and his three fellow Americans who lost their lives in Benghazi to get past the politics and focus on the substance of what happened and what it tells us about diplomatic security going forward.”
The House Foreign Affairs Committee has also already announced its Dec. 20 hearing featuring Clinton’s testimony. The title of the HFAC hearing is “Benghazi Attack, Part II: The Report of the Accountability Review Board”
But State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said today that the ARB is not complete, might not be complete by Dec. 20, and Clinton has not agreed to testify on Dec. 20.