Everything You Need to Know About Hillary Clinton's Benghazi Hearing

Clinton will return to Capitol Hill Thursday to give her testimony.

October 19, 2015, 3:24 PM

— -- Hillary Clinton will return to Capitol Hill Thursday to give her testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

She’s expected to face questions about events surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi -- where Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed -- as well as her private e-mail setup.

Clinton’s testimony has been eagerly anticipated after comments from several House Republicans about the committee and Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Here’s what you need to know about the hearing.


The committee’s fourth public hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., in the cavernous Ways and Means Committee hearing room in the Longworth House Office Building.

Clinton will be sworn in, though it hasn’t been decided whether that will happen in public or private, according to a GOP committee aide.

The panel’s twelve members (seven Republicans and five Democrats) will each have ten minutes at a time to question Clinton.

The hearing is expected to last at least eight hours – without accounting for breaks and House votes – until all questions are exhausted.

“If we’re only going to get one opportunity [to question Clinton] we want to make sure it’s comprehensive,” said Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, a member of the committee.


As with her 2013 appearances before Senate and House panels investigating the attacks, Clinton is expected to field questions about the situation in Libya before, during and after Sept. 11, 2012, as well as the administration’s response to the attacks.

“What I want to know is, while violence was going up in Libya, why was our security profile going down?” Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, said Sunday in an interview on CBS.

On Sunday, Gowdy, citing Ambassador Chris Stevens’ emails, said the ambassador repeatedly requested additional security from the State Department.

Democrats “will also endeavor to make sure [Clinton] is given fair opportunity to answer all questions and that the hearing stays within the scope of the committee's jurisdiction,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, said in a statement.

On Monday, Democrats released a 124-page report summarizing the panel’s interviews, which they say dispel claims about Clinton’s involvement in the attacks. (In response to the report, Gowdy’s spokesperson accused Democrats of “covering for Hillary Clinton” instead of investigating the attacks.)


The panel’s top Republican said he cares about Clinton’s private e-mails “only to the extent that they relate to Libya and Benghazi.”

Clinton could face questions about her server, as the committee hasn’t received all the documents (and e-mails) requested from the State Department.

“We’re going to make sure that the record is complete," Pompeo said.


In the last month, Democrats have seized on comments made by several Republicans about the committee’s investigation.

On Sep. 29, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., suggested the panel’s probe was responsible for Clinton’s declining presidential poll numbers –- a gaffe he later apologized for.

Last Wednesday, Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y, who is not on the panel, said in an interview that the committee “was designed to go after” Clinton.

A former committee staffer has also come forward claiming the panel was conducting a partisan probe. Republicans have dismissed the ex-investigator’s comments as the rumblings of a disgruntled former employee.

Democrats were quick to pounce on the remarks. Clinton’s campaign even used McCarthy’s comments in its first national television ad.

Republicans have blasted the comments as uninformed, and maintain that the panel is focused on the 2012 attacks.


The Democratic frontrunner heads to Capitol Hill with momentum from the Democratic debate and strong third-quarter fundraising numbers.

Last week, she downplayed the significance of her Thursday appearance in an interview, referencing her congressional testimonies following the attacks in 2013.

"I've already testified about Benghazi. I testified to the best of my ability before the Senate and the House. I don't know that I have very much to add,” Clinton said at the CNN debate, adding that she’ll do her “best” to field questions.

Questions remain about Clinton’s private e-mail server –- the security of which is still under investigation by the FBI –- in the minds of American voters.

A recent CBS/New York Times poll found that six in ten registered voters are mostly dissatisfied with Clinton’s explanation of why she used a homebrew server.

Clinton has apologized for using private e-mail as secretary of state -– a setup first discovered by the Benghazi Committee. She has denied doing anything illegal but apologized for using private e-mail in an interview with ABC’s David Muir.


The Benghazi Committee’s work doesn’t end with Clinton.

The panel, which will continue conducting interviews, is tasked with publishing a report on its findings about the attacks, drawn from interviews with Clinton and dozens of other individuals. That is expected sometime in 2016.

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