In what has become one of the country's most anticipated hearings, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was to testify Thursday before the Benghazi Select Committee, a congressional panel that is leading an investigation that some lawmakers claim is politically motivated. The scheduled hearing with Clinton would be part of the eighth investigation into the Sept. 11, 2012, attack by Islamic militants on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya. The attack resulted in the deaths of J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans.
Democrats attempted to disband the GOP-led committee after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California last month suggested that the investigation served to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?" McCarthy told Fox News. "But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought.”
Despite efforts from House Democrats, Republicans blocked a move to shut down the committee. Clinton said at the Oct. 13 Democratic debate in Las Vegas that she looked forward to testifying, but that didn't change her opinion of the panel.
"This committee is basically an arm of the Republican National Committee. It is a partisan vehicle as admitted by the House Republican majority leader, Mr. McCarthy, to drive down my poll numbers," Clinton said. Clinton was scheduled to testify at 10 a.m. EDT. To watch the free live stream, click here.
It is not known for sure what questions Clinton will face, but pundits speculate she will be asked whether she was aware of additional requests for security in Benghazi and if she believes there could have been improvements to protect U.S. personnel there.
The panel also was expected to focus on Clinton's relationship with Sidney Blumenthal, a controversial informal adviser with whom she exchanged a number of emails on Libyan affairs.
Clinton was expected to testify for six to eight hours, Reuters reported.