Representative Trey Gowdy delivered a fiery critique of the Accountability Review Board (ARB) that investigated last year’s September 11 attacks in Benghazi. Among his grievances, Gowdy cited a 1998 ARB that stated that the secretary of state ought to personally review security concerns at diplomatic facilities and consider closing those that are vulnerable. Gowdy argued that then secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s handling of the security concerns in Benghazi merited an interview by the board on her compliance with the 1998 ARB.
“My question, admiral, is you never interviewed the secretary of state about whether she accepted and performed a responsibility given to her by a previous Accountability Review Board,” the South Carolina Republican said at today’s House Oversight Committee hearing to Admiral Mike Mullen, one of the retired officials who led the most recent ARB. Gowdy also quoted Clinton’s own expectations of the ARB set up to investigate the handling of the Benghazi attacjs, which was created while she was at the State Department. Clinton had said that this ARB would “look at everything” related to the attacks. Mullen responded that the board determined that Clinton was not involved in the decision-making of the facility in Benghazi, and therefore did not interview her.
Earlier in the hearing, Mullen told Republican representative Jim Jordan of Ohio that the report was given to both Clinton and her chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, before it was made public.