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Congress Set to Question Hillary Clinton on Benghazi

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to be on Capitol Hill Wednesday to give long-awaited testimony about State Department security and the attack that left four Americans dead in Benghazi, Libya.

Clinton, who had to postpone testimony because of health issues, is scheduled to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at 9 a.m. and the House Foreign Affairs Committee at 2 p.m. Wednesday. She will be the only person giving testimony in the hearing called “Terrorist Attack in Benghazi: The Secretary of State’s View.”

More than four months have passed since an act of terrorism killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Libya. Clinton was expected to testify about a report on security failures in Benghazi in December, but first a concussion and then a blood clot near her brain kept the outgoing secretary of state away from Capitol Hill.

The report led to the firing of three State Department employees and one resignation because of “systemic failures and leadership deficiencies at senior levels in securing the compound.” The departing staff is still on administrative leave, however, meaning they are still State Department employees.

Clinton testified briefly before the Senate less than two weeks after the attack, but Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said in September, Clinton told the Senate “nothing.”

The hearing Wednesday is expected to focus on where State leadership went wrong and what can be done going forward, according to Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who called it part of “an effort to ensure that nothing like [the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi] happens again.”

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., will preside over the hearing on the Senate side, in place of outgoing SFRC chair Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., whom President Obama has nominated to take over Clinton’s position as secretary of state. Kerry’s confirmation hearing before the SFRC begins Thursday.

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