Benghazi Report Author Agrees to Closed-Door Testimony

Image: Benghazi Report Author Agrees to Closed-Door Testimony Thomas Pickering

Thursday, 23 May 2013 09:38 AM

By Lisa Barron

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The co-author of the State Department's report on the Benghazi attacks has agreed to speak to congressional investigators, but behind closed doors.

Retired ambassador Thomas Pickering and House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa have agreed to have Pickering testify in private. Pickering had wanted to appear in an open hearing.

In return, Issa agreed to lift the subpoena for Pickering. It would have required him to appear for a deposition, Foreign Policy's The Cable reports.

“Ambassador Pickering reached an agreement with the Oversight Committee to voluntarily appear for a transcribed interview and answer all questions posed by committee investigators,” Issa said in a statement on Wednesday. “As such, I have lifted his legal obligation to appear tomorrow for a deposition.”

Pickering, 81, was George H.W. Bush's ambassador to the United Nations. He also was ambassador to Israel, Russia and India, among other countries.

He and Adm. Michael Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote the Benghazi report for the government's Accountability Review Board.

Issa and other Republicans have claimed the report was incomplete since the Accountability Review Board did not interview former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about her knowledge of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that killed Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

“Our investigation includes an examination of criticisms career State Department officials have made about the [Accountability Review Board] report being ‘incomplete’ and letting senior officials ‘off the hook,’” said Issa.

“Ambassador Pickering’s testimony will help the committee’s effort to learn about the board’s work.”

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