The Select Congressional committee on Benghazi requested that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agree to appear twice before the committee.
Mrs. Clinton has rejected that request, and instead said through her lawyer, David E. Kendall, that she will only appear before the committee once. That rejection was made public through the release of the Kendall letter by congressional Democrats.
“The committee has consistently shown it is interested in getting the facts and doing so in a deliberate and diligent manner,” said Jamal Ware, the committee’s spokesperson. “As a result of the Benghazi Committee’s efforts, the American people now know about Secretary Clinton’s unusual email arrangement with herself, something that would not be known had the committee rushed to call the former secretary in November as committee Democrats pushed.”
Rep. Trey Gowdy, the head of the Benghazi probe, said the probe could have been finished more quickly had Clinton and the White House cooperated more fully.
Kendall said Clinton could appear as soon as May 18, if that is the wish of the committee.
The committee is seeking to determine what actually happened on September 11, 2012, when the American government compound in Benghazi, Libya was attacked and four Americans were killed, including the American Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.
The administration, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, initially blamed the violence on a small budget American film that was critical of Mohammad, the Muslim prophet. It was only after facts began to mount that the assault was not a spontaneous riot, but a planned attack, that Clinton and others finally admitted it was an orchestrated attack.
It has since been revealed that American officials in Libya, including Amb. Stevens, had requested additional security for the compound, but that had been rejected. Also, no military efforts were undertaken to rescue the Americans caught in the Sept. 11 Benghazi rampages.
An earlier State Department review into the episode, headed by former Amb. Thomas Pickering, never spoke with Clinton. Instead, the Pickering probe limited its investigation to lower-level employees, and it was upon those lower-level employees that it placed the blame.
The congressional committee wanted Clinton to testify at one time about the Benghazi matter and a second time about her unauthorized use of a personal email server, rather than the government server, during the time she served as Secretary of State.
Nearly two years after she left office, Mrs. Clinton turned over about 30,000 emails she said she had determined were government business. Another 32,000 emails were discarded by her because, she claimed, they were her private emails. She said she then wiped her server clean.
Clinton has refused requests to turn over the server to a neutral third party.