Prairie Politics

Pompeo expects new info when Clinton testifies about Benghazi

House Benghazi Committee member Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, speaks to the media on Capitol Hill on Oct. 16 during a break in testimony before a closed-door hearing of the committee.
House Benghazi Committee member Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, speaks to the media on Capitol Hill on Oct. 16 during a break in testimony before a closed-door hearing of the committee. File photo

With Hillary Rodham Clinton set to testify Thursday before the U.S. House committee investigating the fatal 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo was busy Wednesday refining his questions for the former secretary of state.

Pompeo, a committee member, wasn’t ready to say what he would ask Clinton. But he did say in an interview that he expects revelations about the incident.

The committee was formed in May 2014 to examine U.S. government policies that may have contributed to the attacks that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, and the response of the Obama administration, including Clinton, then secretary of state.

“I absolutely anticipate that there will be things that are new and will provide fidelity about how we had an ambassador killed for the first time since 1979,” said Pompeo, a Republican from Wichita.

“We’ll get detail. We’ll understand first hand for the first time what the secretary was doing on the evening of the events, her activities in the run-up in addressing security. … We will get a view from the person who was responsible for the State Department at the time.

“It’ll be different, because we have the one witness who can really elucidate what was really taking place,” he said.

And it will be the first time any committee has been able to ask questions after being given access to about 1,300 e-mails from the late ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens. Pompeo said his staff received those e-mails Tuesday afternoon and were quickly poring over them.

The last-minute timing of the document dump is likely to come up in the hearing as well, he said.

“One of the questions raised at the hearing is likely to be about the fact that we haven’t had time to figure out what’s in them (the e-mails),” Pompeo said. “And we’re pretty sure it’s not all of them. … We believe this was another partial production of Mr. Stevens’ e-mails.”

Pompeo said he doesn’t think there’s any additional pressure on committee members to discover something new after a run of bad publicity and pushback from Democrats.

“The pressure is that we have four families that we’ve been working on behalf of and that’s real,” Pompeo said. “And we have the American people who are holding us, the committee, responsible to minimize the risk that something like this will ever happen again. … The noise is the noise, from all sides. There’s been noise from all quarters.”

Contributing: Anita Kumar and William Douglas of the McClatchy Washington bureau.

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