Lawyers representing 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Monday that she is willing to testify in front of a special panel on Capitol Hill about the Benghazi, Libya, attacks and the controversy surrounding her private email account. However, the former secretary of state will only appear once, not twice as requested by the chairman of the special investigation panel, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who is looking into the events that saw four Americans die at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi in September 2012.
Gowdy had requested that Clinton appear May 18 to give testimony on her use of a personal email account while secretary of state, and again in June to answer questions about the assault in Benghazi. But Clinton’s lawyer David Kendall said she will answer all questions on both subjects during one session on May 18. The date has yet to be confirmed by the panel.
"Respectfully, there is no basis, logic or precedent for such an unusual request," Kendall wrote in an April 23 letter to the panel, which was released to the public May. 4. "The secretary is fully prepared to stay for the duration of the committee's questions on the day she appears."
Controversy over Clinton’s email use arose in March when it was revealed that she used her private account to send correspondence relating to her work as secretary of state between 2009 and 2013. It was alleged that the use of a private email account allowed her to avoid being subject to the Freedom of Information Act and left her open to hacking and foreign surveillance.
The top democrat on the panel, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, said Kendall’s letter along with the statement should meet the GOP’s demands.
"Chairman Gowdy should take 'yes' for an answer and finally schedule the hearing," Cummings wrote. "Dragging out this process further into the presidential election season sacrifices any chance that the American people will see it as serious or legitimate.”