Clinton likely to testify on Benghazi attack: GOP senator

2013-01-08 22:18:49 GMT2013-01-09 06:18:49(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is likely to testify before Congress over the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, late this month, a top Republican senator said Tuesday.

"I had some very good conversations with her chief of staff," Senator Bob Corker, the ranking Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in an interview on MSNBC. "My sense is, her hearing probably will take place the morning of the 22nd."

Clinton was originally scheduled to testify last month, but was forced to cancel the hearing because of a concussion and then hospitalization because of a brain blood clot. She returned to office Monday after a month-long absence.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Monday that Clinton would testify on the attack before she steps down as secretary of state.

The deadly Sept. 11 attack in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi last year killed U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. The U.S. State Department has been under harsh criticism for its inadequate protection of the U. S. mission.

On Dec. 18, the independent Accountability Review Board (ARB) released a review of the Benghazi attack, noting that "management deficiencies" at high levels of the State Department had contributed to the deadly outcome.

Following the report, four State Department officials were removed from their posts, including Eric Boswell, assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security.

The 65-year-old Clinton has said she would step down as secretary of state when President Barack Obama finishes his first term late this month. Obama has tapped Democratic Senator John Kerry as her successor.

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