In his opening statement, House Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy addressed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally at a high-stakes hearing on Thursday, telling the Democratic presidential candidate that the panel's investigation is not about her.
"Madame Secretary, I understand some people -- frankly in both parties -- have suggested this investigation is about you," Gowdy said. "Let me assure you it is not. And let me assure you why it is not. This work is about something much more important than any single person. It is about four U.S. government workers, including our Ambassador, murdered by terrorists on foreign soil. It is about what happened before, during, and after the attacks that killed these four men."
He continued: "It is about what this country owes those who risk their lives to serve it. It is about the fundamental obligation of our government to tell the truth -- always -- to the American people. Not a single member of this Committee signed up for an investigation into you or your email system. We signed up because we wanted to honor the service and sacrifice of four people sent to a foreign land to represent us - who were killed - and do everything we can to prevent it from happening to others."
Gowdy also presented several key questions he would be asking in his opening statement:
Why were there so many requests for more security personnel and equipment, and why were those requests denied in Washington?
Why did the State Department compound in Benghazi not even come close to meeting proper security specifications?
What policies were we pursuing in Libya that required a physical presence in spite of the escalating violence?
Who in Washington was aware of the escalating violence in Libya?
What special precautions, if any, were taken on the anniversary of 9-11?
What happened in Washington after the first attack and what was the response to that attack?
What did the military do or not do?
What did our leaders in Washington do or not do and when?
Why was the American public given such divergent accounts of what caused these attacks?
And why is it so hard to get information from the very government these four men were representing and serving and sacrificing for?
Watch the hearing live here.