Author Topic: Benghazi Panel Wants Documents Before Hillary Clinton Testifies  (Read 2057 times)

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Offline mayya

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Benghazi Panel Wants Documents Before Hillary Clinton Testifies

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, said on Thursday that he would not callHillary Rodham Clinton to testify until the State Department turned over a trove of documents about the episode.

The statement by the chairman, Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, makes it probable that Mrs. Clinton, who had said she was willing to testify this month, will now appear no earlier than this summer.

In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Mr. Gowdy said the State Department had not “produced one single piece of paper responsive to the committee’s request for records” from aides to Mrs. Clinton, the former secretary of state and current Democratic presidential candidate.

Mr. Gowdy originally asked for the documents, which include the aides’ emails and other documents related to Libya, in November. He then issued a broader subpoena in March.

“The pace of State Department document production has become an impediment to the progress of the committee,” Mr. Gowdy said. “Secretary Kerry promised in previous House testimony swift action when it came to producing department documents, now it is time for his department to explain why they have failed to keep his word.”
The State Department said on Thursday that it had given Mr. Gowdy more than 4,000 pages of documents since his November request. “It’s clear the committee doesn’t know how to take ‘yes’ for an answer,” said Alec Gerlach, a department spokesman.

Democrats have charged that Mr. Gowdy is dragging out the process so he can call Mrs. Clinton to testify closer to the 2016 election.

But Mr. Gowdy said that before the committee would allow Mrs. Clinton to testify, it needed the documents “to have some of the completeness” so it could “formulate substantive questions for her on Benghazi.”
Mr. Gowdy had said that he wanted Mrs. Clinton to testify before the committee twice — once about her exclusive use of a personal email account to conduct government business when she was secretary of state, and a second time about the Benghazi attacks, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

But Mrs. Clinton’s lawyer said last week that she was willing to testify before the panel only once. Whenever she testifies, she will be prepared to stay as long as necessary to answer all of the committee’s questions, said the lawyer, David E. Kendall.

Shortly after Mr. Gowdy sent his letter, the ranking Democrat on the Benghazi committee, Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, released a statement saying that “Republicans are on a fishing expedition for anything they can use against Secretary Clinton in her presidential campaign.”

“Every time they come back empty-handed, they extend their trip at taxpayer expense,” Mr. Cummings said. “The committee has had Secretary Clinton’s emails for months. This new claim that the department has not produced a single responsive document is completely baseless.”