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Clinton, congressional Benghazi panel at odds over appearance date

By Reuters - Jul 25,2015 - Last updated at Jul 25,2015

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign said on Saturday the former secretary of state will testify on October 22 before a House committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi, Libya, attacks, but a spokesman for the panel said no date had been set.

Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, chairman of the Benghazi investigation committee, had sought to hear from Clinton on the attacks, in which four Americans were killed, and her use of a private e-mail account while she was America's top diplomat.

A spokesman for Clinton, the front-runner in polls for the Democratic nomination in next year's presidential election, said she had accepted an offer from the committee to testify on October 22.

"Earlier this week we were pleased for Secretary Clinton to receive an offer from Congressman Gowdy to appear before the committee in a public hearing in October, and yesterday accepted his invitation," campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said in an e-mailed statement. He said the date was October 22.

A few hours after the Clinton campaign announced her planned appearance, Jamal Ware, spokesman for the Benghazi committee, said the date was not firm.

"Secretary Clinton's campaign may want to reach out to her lawyer, Mr. David Kendall, with whom the Committee has had ongoing conversations," Ware said in a statement. "As of last night, Mr. Kendall was still negotiating conditions for her appearance."

Ware said the conditions proposed by Kendall were that the date of her testimony not change once it was set and that questioning of Clinton stay within parameters set by the resolution that established the committee.

However, a Democratic spokesman for the Benghazi committee said Gowdy's staff had proposed dates in October and that Clinton's attorney had accepted October 22.

Clinton was secretary of state at the time of the September 11, 2012, attacks by Islamic militants on US diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, which resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Congressional Republicans have scrutinised Clinton's handling of the incident and criticised the lack of security at the US compound.

Clinton has also been engulfed in a controversy over her use of a private e-mail server instead of a government account while she was secretary of state.


At least four emails out of some 30,000 from that private account contained classified information, according to a government inspector's letter to Congress this week.

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