WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL/AP) – Facing seven Republicans and five Democrats investigating the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, Hillary Clinton testified about the events leading up to the deadly rampage which killed four Americans, including a US Ambassador, while she was serving as Secretary of State.
Seated before dozens of cameras, her own staff, and at times a hostile committee, Clinton remained mostly cool, calm, and collected as she discussed the security procedures in place before and during the attack on September 11th, 2012. Republican members released new emails from Clinton’s time in office which they hoped would convey the State Department was deliberately trying to cover-up the chain of events leading up to the crisis in Libya.
“In Beirut we lost far more Americans, not once but twice within a year,” she said of the 1983 attacks in Lebanon that killed more than 250 Americans and dozens of others. “There was no partisan effort. People rose above politics. A Democratic Congress worked with a Republican administration to say, ‘What do we need to learn?'”
The committee investigating the Benghazi attack has faced serious questions of legitimacy from Democratic members on the committee who’ve publically declared the committee is focused on scoring partisanship points rather than fact checking.
Republicans on the committee, including Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) have instead promised the Benghazi committee will be focused on holding the State Department accountable.
“I followed the law, that was my responsibility,” said Clinton during a somewhat abrasive exchange with Rep. Pompeo over her response to the failures to protect Americans on the ground.
The committee’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), strongly defended the work of the House panel and shutdown attempts to label the committee as theatrics. The committee has stressed they don’t expect to release a final report for several more months.