House investigators asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to testify next week about the September 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, but she declined citing a scheduling conflict.
“[Clinton] was asked to appear at House Foreign Affairs next week, and we have written back to the Chairman to say that she’ll be on travel next week,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters yesterday. “She has a commitment with the Secretary of Defense to the AUSMIN Ministerial.” Per AFP, “AUSMIN is the highest level forum for Australia and US consultation on foreign policy, defense and strategic issues.” The United States is reportedly concerned about Australia’s plan to cut their defense spending.
Clinton has not been asked to testify at any of the other hearings next week, Nuland said.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., has been frustrated with the State Department’s failure to provide information that she has requested.
“While I understand that investigations by the FBI and the State Department’s own Accountability Review Board are ongoing, it is imperative that this Committee, having direct oversight responsibility, be kept informed every step of the way of developments in the matter,” Ros-Lehtinen wrote to Clinton on November 7th. “[P]lease be prepared to present State Department officials to testify on these issues when Congress reconvenes later this month.”