State Department spokespersonn Victoria Nuland confirmed today that the Accountability Review Board on Benghazi has concluded its work, and that the report went to Secretary Clinton this morning.
As it stands right now, the ARB leads Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Admiral Mullen will reportedly brief the SFRC and the HFAC on Wednesday, December 19 during a closed session.
The following day, December 20, the Secretary’s deputies – Deputy Secretary Burns and Deputy Secretary Nides – will brief SFRC and HFAC in open session, “responding to the report and talking about the path forward.”
As we have previously speculated, the report has both an unclassified and a classified section. According to the spokesperson, the entire report, at the Secretary’s direction, will be made available to the Hill sometime before the Pickering/Mullen classified briefings on Wednesday. The reasoning being that this would give members “a chance to look at it before the briefings.” We don’t know how long is this report, but we hope it gets to the Hill tomorrow so people can actually read it before the hearings.
The big question is – when are we going to see it?
Probably sometime on Wednesday according to Ms. Nuland, although she could not confirm those details.
During the DPB, a reporter also asked the official spokesperson on “why Secretary Clinton can’t testify on Thursday about this? It seems that she has not been available to testify on the Benghazi situation on some very key dates, including the Sunday after 9/11 and now this Thursday.”
Here is part of the official response:
“But it was her intention to be there. If she had not been ill, she would be there. And she’s also committed, including in a letter today to the committee chairmen, that she looks forward to having an ongoing conversation with them herself.”
As to whether Secretary Clinton want to testify later, the spokesperson said:
“So she has, including in a letter today to the two committees, made clear that she looks forward to continuing to engage them in January, and she will be open to whatever they consider appropriate in that regard.”
With apologies folks, we actually have no idea how to translate that.
- HFAC on Dec 20: Secretary Clinton to Testify on Benghazi Post-ARB Release (diplopundit.net)
- Clinton will testify when ARB report is ready, that may/may not be next week (diplopundit.net)
- Clinton Recovering, Top Deputies Burns and Nides Expected to Testify Dec.20 (diplopundit.net)