The bipartisan House committee appointed to investigate the deadly 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Bengahzi, Libya will hold its first public hearing next week, according to news reports.
In a 2012 report, the board said that widespread management and leadership failures at the State Department left U.S. diplomats and other personnel vulnerable to the assault, which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The committee, chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), will examine the State Department’s progress implementing more than two dozen recommendations that the board made to help the government tighten its security controls.
The bipartisan congressional panel has been reviewing the Benghazi incident since about May, but behind closed doors. The committee has been reviewing reports on the attack and requesting documents from the State Department to learn more about the government’s actions in the region during the time surrounding the incident, according to Politico.
The Accountability Review Board was headed by Adm. Mike Mullen, who is former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering.
Republicans on the bipartisan panel have questioned the thoroughness of the review board’s work, saying they want to know more about what the government could have done to rescue the Americans at the compound.
GOP members are likely to press for answers about why the Obama administration first blamed the attack on a protest over an anti-Islam video — an assertion that proved to be flawed.
Republicans have raised concerns about a September 2012 e-mail in which White House adviser Ben Rhodes recommended that then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice “underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy” during interviews on the Sunday talk shows after the incident.
Democrats have argued that the House review is a waste of time and resources, because several federal probes have already looked at the matter. The continued investigations could have political ramifications for potential Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state during the Benghazi attack.