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Hillary Clinton Refuses Benghazi Committee Request to Testify Twice


"...there is no basis, logic, or precedent..."

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reacts as she is introduced to speak at the Massachusetts Conference for Women in Boston, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Hillary Clinton's lawyer told the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Monday that Clinton would only appear once before the committee to testify about Benghazi, not twice as the committee has demanded.

Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has said two rounds of testimony will be needed — one to discuss her use of private email and her decision to delete thousands of emails that could related to Benghazi, and another to discuss her reaction to the 2012 attack that left four Americans dead.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a student conference for the Clinton Global Initiative University at Arizona State University, Friday, March 21, 2014, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin A lawyer for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Clinton will only appear once before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, not twice as the committee has requested. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

But Clinton lawyer David Kendall told Gowdy that she would not appear twice.

"Respectfully, there is no basis, logic, or precedent for such an unusual request," he wrote. "The secretary is fully prepared to stay for the duration of the committee's questions on the day she appears."

"On such day, she will stay as long as necessary to answer the committee's questions, but will not prolong the committee's efforts further by appearing on two separate occasions when one will suffice," Kendall wrote.

Gowdy told Clinton's camp that two hearings are needed to first ensure the public record is complete, and to prevent a situation in which members will be forced to ask either about the lost Clinton emails, or Benghazi. Kendall dismissed both reasons, first by saying Clinton has given the State Department all of her emails.

"Thus, you can be assured that the State Department has a complete set of the emails that were in Secretary Clinton's possession related or potentially related to her work as secretary of State," he wrote.

On the second issue, he said he trusts members are "fully capable of using the time they have to focus" on the many questions they have for Clinton in one hearing.

The letter asked Gowdy to pick a day on the week of May 18, or possibly later.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the committee, supported Kendall's letter, and said it makes no sense to prolong the investigation.

"Dragging out this process further into the presidential election season sacrifices any chance that the American people will see it as serious or legitimate," he said. "After nearly a year, we have still found not a scrap of evidence to support claims Secretary Clinton ordered a stand-down, approved an illicit weapons program, or any of the other wild allegations that Republicans have been making about her for years."

By late Monday afternoon, committee spokesman Jamal Ware said the committee was considering how to respond. "The committee will take his response into consideration, and Chairman Gowdy will issue a statement on behalf of the committee regarding the path forward," he said.

Read Kendall's letter here:

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