House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa hinted Thursday that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton might be called to testify again in response to a Senate report on the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.
"Certainly she could be appropriate as we gather additional information, some that's been withheld from us," Issa told Fox News Thursday.
A bipartisan report released Wednesday
by the Senate Intelligence Committee says the attack could have been prevented and blames the State Department for not taking steps to fortify and secure the facility in light of intelligence warnings about growing threats to Western targets in Benghazi. An addendum to the report filed by Republican committee members said Clinton, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, was ultimately responsible for inadequate security at the compound.
The report also revealed for the first time that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in the attack along with three other Americans, had twice rejected efforts to make the diplomatic outpost more secure.
Issa stopped short of saying Clinton would definitely be called to testify, noting that his immediate focus would be to make public "what's been said in classified sessions that shouldn't be classified" about the bombing.
"The American people deserve to listen directly to testimony, under oath, by people who have direct involvement," the California Republican said.
The Senate report said it was "undeniable" that the Benghazi bombing was a "premeditated attack," Issa noted. Terrorist groups linked to al-Qaida are suspected of carrying out the bombing, although The New York Times has reported
that the assault on Sept. 11, 2012 was carried out by militant Libyan militia groups angry at the U.S. for various reasons.
Issa, however, continued to insist that the White House initially blamed the attack on anger set off by an anti-Islam video so it would have less of an impact on the presidential election two months later.
"In my opinion, this was an attempt to tamp down a situation on the eve of an election, so that they wouldn't have to admit that al-Qaida and terrorist groups on September 11th attacked Americans, and killed Americans," he said.
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