Hillary Rodham Clinton is willing to testify once on Capitol Hill later this month about the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and her email practices during her tenure as secretary of state, her attorney told lawmakers in a letter today. Lawyer David Kendall says the Democratic presidential candidate will appear for only one session the week of May 18 or later, not twice as requested by GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, chairman of the special panel investigating the September 2012 attacks that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, at the US outpost in Libya. Gowdy had requested one hearing to focus on Clinton's use of private emails, and a separate session on Benghazi. Kendall says Clinton will answer all lawmakers' questions during one session and it will not be necessary for her to appear twice.
"Respectfully, there is no basis, logic or precedent for such an unusual request," Kendall wrote. "The secretary is fully prepared to stay for the duration of the committee's questions on the day she appears." Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the panel, released Kendall's letter along with a statement saying the lawyer's offer should more than satisfy the GOP's demands. "Chairman Gowdy should take 'yes' for an answer and finally schedule the hearing," Cummings wrote. Spokesman Jamal Ware said Gowdy will consider her response and issue a statement later "regarding the path forward" for Clinton's testimony. (Clinton previously gave emotional testimony over the attacks in January 2013, when she was still secretary of state.)