Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a top aide sought to keep the department's counterterrorism bureau out of the chain of command on the night of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, according to Fox News.
The news network reported Mark Thompson, currently the deputy coordinator for operations in the counterterrorism bureau, is preparing to make that charge against Clinton and Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy during testimony Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Thompson reportedly views himself as a whistleblower whose account of what happened on the night of Sept. 11, 2012 was squelched by the Accountability Review Board established by Clinton to investigate the attack. His lawyer, Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney, has also claimed that Thompson is the victim of threats and intimidation by State Department superiors, according to Fox.
Fox also reported Monday that a second official from the counterterrorism bureau made a similar accusation about Clinton and Kennedy to national security colleagues last October. “You should have seen what (Clinton) tried to do to us that night,” Fox quotes the official as saying.
According to Fox, both officials allege that Clinton and Kennedy were reluctant to portray the attack as an act of terrorism and tried to keep the counterterrorism bureau out of the early decision-making process.
Jen Psaki, a State Department spokeswoman, told Fox that the allegations by Thompson and the other counterterrorism official are “100 percent false.” A spokesman for Clinton also said the charge is not true.
In the days immediately following the assault by al-Qaida-linked extremists, which killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans, the Obama administration depicted the deaths as the result of a spontaneous demonstration. It later acknowledged the attack was a terrorist act carried out by Islamist extremist group.
Clinton testified about Benghazi in January shortly before leaving office. But neither she nor Thompson, according to Fox, were ever interviewed by the Accountability Review Board investigating the attack.
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