Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and secretary of state, had to endure a marathon grilling for 11 hours on the Benghazi attack, but came out largely unscathed in the end.
A Congress committee grilled her for the deadly attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012. This was the seventh congressional investigation into the attack by suspected Islamist militants.
Not much new information was revealed in the end though, even after the long sessions. It was learned that she remained composed throughout the hearing. There were many heated exchanges between Republicans and Democrats.
Deflecting criticism, Hillary told the committee how she took responsibility and introduced reforms after the attack that killed four Americans, including the US envoy. Her party however says that the Republican-led panel is a witch-hunt trying to harm her presidential bid.
Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, seated next to the chairman, said Republicans were wasting taxpayer money by trying to derail Clinton’s presidential campaign. But Gowdy denied that his committee was going after Mrs. Clinton. We are looking for the truth behind the diplomatic compound’s unsuccessful requests for more security and personnel in the build up to the attacks, he added.
Hillary was cross-examined over the extent to which she has taken responsibility for the deaths at Benghazi, and her contacts with the Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was one of the victims in the attack. She replied, “I’ve done everything I know to do, as have the people with whom I worked, to try to answer your questions. I cannot do any more than that”. She broke into a coughing fit at this point and took a throat lozenge.
Her performance at the hearing, coming a day after Vice President Joe Biden’s decision not to seek the presidency, is likely to solidify Clinton’s standing as the favorite to win her party’s presidential nomination.