Disciplined State Dept. Employee to Testify on Benghazi Before Congress

Saturday, 13 Jul 2013 12:16 PM

By Todd Beamon

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A State Department employee who says he was unfairly disciplined in the wake of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya will testify before Congress next week.

Raymond Maxwell, the former deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Maghreb Affairs, was placed on administrative leave in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 assault in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Maxwell was one of four State Department employees disciplined after an independent State Department investigation of the attack, but he insisted that he played no role in decisions that were made that denied the embassy's requests for more security, The Hill reports.

“I had no involvement to any degree with decisions on security and the funding of security at our diplomatic mission in Benghazi,” Maxwell told the Daily Beast in May after he filed a grievance with the State Department’s Human Resources Bureau and the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA).

Maxwell is scheduled to appear before a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Thursday, the Hill reports. An AFSA representative is also expected to testify, along with American Academy of Diplomacy President Ronald Neumann, who is a former ambassador to Algeria, Bahrain and Afghanistan.

The committee is led by Chairman GOP Rep. Ed Royce of California.

In addition, the House Oversight Committee — chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, also a California Republican — has deposed the co-authors of the State Department's Accountability Review Board, which reportedly recommended that Maxwell be punished for failing to read his intelligence briefings, the Hill reports.

Democrats attending the depositions told the Hill that Maxwell's treatment appeared to be of particular interest to Republicans on Issa’s committee.

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