Hillary Clinton agrees to testify before Benghazi panel

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Hillary Clinton (File photo)

WASHINGTON (CNN – May 4, 2015) — Hillary Clinton has agreed to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi later this month, according to a letter from her attorney to the panel’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina.

Gowdy asked Clinton, the former Secretary of State and now presidential candidate, testify before the committee twice — once on her private email server and once on the 2012 attacks in Benghazi that killed four Americans.

But David Kendall, Clinton’s lawyer, said Clinton would testify once on both topics, on a day designated by the committee during the week of May 18th or later.

“On such day, she will stay as long as necessary to answer the committee’s questions, but will not prolong the committee’s efforts further by appearing on two separate occasions when one will suffice,” Kendall wrote in a letter delivered on Monday.

Last month Gowdy sent a lengthy letter to Kendall outlining his request that Clinton come before the committee twice, and listed more than 100 questions he wanted to cover.

“It is necessary to call Secretary Clinton twice because the committee needs to ensure we have a complete and responsive record and all the facts before we then substantively question her on the Benghazi terrorist attacks,” Gowdy said at that time.

The top Democrat on the panel, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, said on Monday that Gowdy “should take ‘yes’ for an answer and finally schedule the hearing.”

Cummings also urged Gowdy to complete the investigation this year.

“Dragging out this process further into the presidential election season sacrifices any chance that the American people will see it as serious or legitimate,” Cummings said.

Gowdy spokesman Jamal Ware issued a statement on Monday that said the panel was reviewing Kendall’s letter and would announce how the panel will proceed in a forthcoming statement.

“The committee has consistently shown it is interested in getting the facts and doing so in a deliberate and diligent manner,” Ware said. “As a result of the Benghazi committee’s efforts, the American people now know about Secretary Clinton’s unusual email arrangement with herself, something that would not be known had the committee rushed to call the former secretary in November as Committee Democrats pushed.”

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