Hillary Clinton’s deputy at the State Department will testify before a closed-door meeting of the House Benghazi Committee on Wednesday, where he will likely be pressed on why the State Department has failed to produce certain documents requested by the committee.
Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy will be the 72nd witness interviewed by the committee, Chairman Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) said in a statement on Tuesday. Kennedy’s testimony comes on the heels of newly released emails that show the under secretary discussed creating a “stand-alone” network for Clinton to check her emails while at her State Department office.
Gowdy said in a statement that the committee would also question Kennedy about the security lapses at the Benghazi consulate:
“Our committee looks forward to completing the first thorough investigation into what happened before, during and after the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi. Ours is the first to obtain and review roughly 70,000 pages of relevant documents, but we are still waiting to receive crucial records from the CIA and the State Department. Patrick Kennedy will hopefully be able to shed some light about some of these serial delays and why security in Benghazi was grossly inadequate. The Democrats on this committee will no doubt continue to do everything they can to undermine and obstruct our work, but the American people and the families of the four victims deserve to know the truth, and that’s why we are going to stay focused on gathering all the facts.”
The Benghazi Committee investigation has led to questions about whether classified information was mishandled over Clinton’s private email server. The State Department said last week that it is declining to publicly release 22 emails from Clinton’s server that have been classified as “Top Secret.” Fox News reported this week that the messages contain “operational intelligence” that intelligence sources said put “sources, methods and lives” at risk.
Update 8:54 p.m.: A spokesperson for the Democratic minority side of the House Benghazi Committee criticized the decision to interview Kennedy, noting that he testified before the House Oversight Committee about the Benghazi attack in 2012: