Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) released a letter on Friday that said both Republicans and Democrats on his House Select Committee on Benghazi want her to testify about the 2012 attack that left four Americans dead in Libya.
"[B]oth the majority and minority would like to schedule the appearance of Secretary Hillary Clinton as soon as possible," he wrote.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) says his Select Committee on Benghazi is getting closer to calling former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to testify about her role in the attack. Gowdy image: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Clinton image: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
But as Gowdy has said in the past, his committee still wants to receive emails, documents and other materials from her days at State before asking her questions. According to his letter, State has said it is gathering those materials.
"We also set a deadline for the production of emails, documents or other materials in the possession of the State Department, which would be needed to constructively ask questions of Secretary Clinton and serve as a reference for the secretary before and during the hearing," he wrote.
"Should the State Department not meet the deadline set, I will schedule another public hearing asking about the state of compliance," he added.
It's not clear exactly when Clinton will testify, but her appearance is likely to be a major event for the young committee, which was formed less than a year ago. Many Republicans blame Clinton for being indifferent to the circumstances surrounding the attack.
Two years ago, a frustrated Clinton said famously "What difference, at this point, does it make?" when asked in a Senate hearing about the attack.
Clinton is considering a 2016 presidential run, and seems likely to be the top Democratic nominee if she chooses to run. But her role in the Benghazi attack remains a flaw, and threatens to hurt her chances of gathering the support she needs to win.
While Clinton's testimony must wait, Gowdy also announced a new slate of interviews with current and former officials with knowledge of the attack. Those interviews will take place over the next several months.
Gowdy's announcement came just days after he threatened to subpoena several officials — that threat was quickly dropped after the Obama administration agreed to provide the committee with access to several of these people.
One witness to be questioned is Cheryl Mills, Clinton's former chief of staff while at the State Department. Others are Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, former Defense Secretary and CIA director Leon Panetta, former deputy secretary of State Bill Burns, and former White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Gowdy's committee is trying to learn more about the Sept. 11, 2012 attack that killed four Americans. But it's also seeking information about how the Obama administration responded to possible threats before the attack, and how it handled the situation during and after the attack.
The administration famously blamed the attack on a provocative video, but was later forced to retract that statement and admit it was an act of pre-meditated terrorism. Republicans accused the administration of trying to downplay the event in the weeks before President Barack Obama's second presidential campaign.
Republicans and Democrats have fought over the work of Gowdy's committee, and many Democrats say the committee's real purpose is to make Democrats look bad. But Republicans have said Democrats are ignoring key outstanding questions about the attack, and are trying to sabotage the work of the committee.
Just this week, Democrats complained that the committee costs too much to operate, which prompted Republicans to fire back that Democrats don't seem interested in all in the investigation itself.
Gowdy addressed this on Friday by trying to encourage Democrats to play a more constructive role.
"I welcome input from the minority and hope they will provide it expeditiously," Gowdy said. "If not, I have been forthcoming and transparent about the Committee's plan to move forward."
Read Gowdy's letter below: