Although Republican senators have expressed support for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton through her recent medical problems, they nonetheless want her to testify on events in Benghazi, Libya before they confirm Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to take her place, according to Joel Gehrke writing for The Washington Examiner.
Indications that Clinton may not testify first came to light on Dec. 15, when her physicians, Lisa Bardack and Gigi El-Bayoumi issued a joint statement:
“Secretary Clinton developed a stomach virus, leading to extreme dehydration, and subsequently fainted. Over the course of this week we evaluated her and ultimately determined she had also sustained a concussion. We recommended that the Secretary continue to rest and avoid any strenuous activity, and strongly advised her to cancel all work events for the coming week,” they said.
Many, including former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, speculated that the secretary was exaggerating her injuries in order to postpone her Benghazi testimony.
“Every Foreign Service officer in every foreign ministry in the world knows the phrase that I’m about to use. When you don’t want to go to a meeting or a conference or an event, you have a ‘diplomatic illness.’ And this is a diplomatic illness to beat the band,” Bolton told Fox News host Greta VanSusteren.
“I certainly hope it’s nothing serious, but this was revealed in a way that I think that was not transparent, and I think there is an obligation here, especially if Secretary Clinton decides to run for president, to indicate what happened,” Bolton said. “She may beat testifying this week, but she’s not going to escape it forever.”
The waters were muddied further early this week when we learned that three State Department officials and Eric Boswell, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, were returning to work after having announced their resignations last week following their own testimony on the Benghazi events.
Although GOP lawmakers, for the most part, have rallied to Clinton’s defense, they’re still not about to let her off the hook. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, told The Cable that he believes Clinton has been aboveboard about her condition.
“I have no doubts that Secretary Clinton has been ill and suffered a concussion. I know she will testify and statements to the contrary are misplaced,” said Graham.
In a press conference last week, however, Graham said he wants Clinton to testify on Benghazi before she steps down from office.
Other Republican senators agree. “The Senate is expected to take up Kerry’s nomination in early January, but multiple Republican senators have already said they won’t agree to a vote on Kerry’s nomination until Clinton testifies about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi,” according to The Cable’s Josh Rogin.
Read more at The Washington Examiner.
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