Ron Johnson wants Hillary Clinton to testify on Benghazi

The Hill
Martin Matishak
January 30, 2015

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, arguing she has not been “held accountable” for her role in the deadly 2012 attacks

“There’s certainly a lot that I think Secretary Clinton has to answer for,” Johnson told The Hill on Thursday. “I really do believe that, if she had taken her job responsibly and provided the security — even the minimal level — I don’t think those deaths would have occurred. That’s something she has to be held accountable for.”

His comments come days after Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on the House panel, said Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 should she decide to run, would be willing to testify before the committee.

It would be her third trip to Capitol Hill to discuss the attacks on the U.S. facility in Libya that killed four Americans, including the ambassador.

Johnson, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had a memorable exchange with Clinton in January 2013 when she appeared before that panel.

The comments have since been replayed thousands of times, and could make their way into 2016 ads.

“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” Clinton said, cutting off Johnson’s questioning.

“Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk last night who decided to kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?” Clinton continued. “It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again.”

Clinton’s outburst rallied her supporters and other Democrats, but the GOP locked in on the “what difference at this point does it make” to cast her as out of touch.

Several Republicans have argued Clinton’s handling of Benghazi should bar her from seeking the presidency.

Johnson said having Clinton testify again has nothing to do with the 2016 presidential race, a charge Democrats have made in recent days.

“She has yet to be held accountable. She really hasn’t answered what she knew, when she knew it, exactly how she was involved in it or not involved,” he told The Hill. “So, no, the American people have every right to understand the truth.”