Lawyer Implies State Department Is Threatening Benghazi Whistleblower

Monday, 06 May 2013 04:42 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The lawyer for Benghazi "whistleblower" Gregory Hicks is hinting the State Department threatened her client with retaliation if he kept insisting the assault on the U.S. Embassy in Libya was known to be a terrorist attack "from the get-go."

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Victoria Toensing said she plans to reveal at a Congressional hearing on Benghazi Wednesday the pressure Hicks has been under since pressing his case that federal officials knew all along the massacre was staged by terrorists.

Story continues below video.

"We'll go into those facts at the hearings but let me just say, in general, people don’t threaten, they don’t come up and say you better not testify," Toensing, of the law firm of DiGenova & Toensing, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"What they do is they say, 'You know that job assignment that you had scheduled in June? It just got eliminated.'"

On the day of the attack Sept. 11, 2012, Hicks was informed by Ambassador Christopher Stevens himself that the embassy was under siege. A short time later, Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

"He was the No. 2 person in the embassy and so he was in Tripoli when the attack occurred," Toensing told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"He'd gotten a call from the ambassador. ... The ambassador said to him, 'Greg, we're under attack.' And then it cut off."

On Sunday, CBS News' "Face the Nation" released excerpts from an interview Hicks conducted with federal investigators in which he thought the strike was "a terrorist attack from the get-go."

"I think everybody in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning," Hicks said in the interview.

His testimony is in direct conflict with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who characterized the assault as a spontaneous attack. President Barack Obama's administration later called it an act of terror.

Hicks is one of several witnesses testifying before the House Oversight Committee.

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The Benghazi scandal has become a thorn in the side of the Obama administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Some critics believe the State Department has tried to cover up the fact there was lax security in place at the embassy.

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