Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify next Wednesday, Jan. 23, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee regarding the Sept. 11 terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, incoming chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) announced late Monday.
The infamous attack, which claimed the lives of U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, led key Republican lawmakers to assail the administration for failing to provide adequate protection to its diplomats overseas and for initially denying that the brutal assault was a terrorist attack, claiming instead that it was linked to a peaceful protest regarding an anti-Muslim film produced in the U.S.
“I appreciate Secretary Clinton’s desire and willingness to testify before the Committee as we continue to examine this deadly terrorist attack in an effort to ensure that nothing like it happens again,” Royce said in a statement. “My intention is for this hearing to focus on why this attack was not better anticipated, what leadership failures at the State Department existed, and what management deficiencies need to be corrected in order to better secure our diplomatic facilities abroad and protect our diplomats serving in them.
“It is important to learn all we can about what happened in Benghazi because at the end of the day, it could happen again. After all, Al-Qaeda plans attacks over and over again,” said Royce.
Clinton had been scheduled to testify before House and Senate committees last month but contracted a stomach virus, fell, and suffered a concussion, which has delayed her testimony.
The 65-year-old U.S. diplomat was hospitalized in New York on Dec. 30 and was treated for several days for a blot clot related to the fall. She returned to work Jan. 7.
The secretary of state is also expected to testify next week before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before relinquishing her position to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), a former presidential candidate and current chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who will take her place during President Barack Obama’s second term in the White House.