Washington, DC — Excerpt from the United States Department of State daily press briefing:
QUESTION: Just on Benghazi, today Chairman Ros-Lehtinen said that Secretary Clinton is going to be appearing before her committee in December after the ARB is concluded. Is that the plan, and do you know if this will be open or closed?
MR. TONER: Sure. Thanks for asking the question, actually. We've been clear all along about our intent to cooperate with closely and work closely with Congress on Benghazi. It's why Under Secretary Kennedy and officials from State have appeared multiple times with relevant congressional committees. I think it's six times this week alone that Under Secretary Kennedy has participated in these hearings. The Secretary, as she's said previously, has served in the Senate for eight years. She knows how important Congress's role is in reviewing what happened in Benghazi and helping to ensure that we have the best policies, practices, and resources to protect our diplomats and development experts.
So all that to say that once the ARB's - the ARB has completed its work, she does intend to talk to the relevant committees, as you'd noted.
Should the ARB meet its target for completing its review, it will report its findings in December. So that's why the December date was, I think, mentioned today.
QUESTION: Open session?
MR. TONER: All those details, I think, are - remain to be seen.
QUESTION: Well, I mean, just - and I know this is extremely hypothetical, but suppose the ARB takes much longer than expected or doesn't meet its December dateline, and in fact, it drags on for - until January and to the point where the Secretary is no longer the Secretary.
She still would go up there?
MR. TONER: That's a - look, we certainly --
QUESTION: I know that it's hypothetical, but since other officials, ex-officials, recently ex-officials have agreed to testify, I don't see --
MR. TONER: We'll cross that bridge when we get to it, Matt.
QUESTION: I don't know why she would have a hesitation in saying no, that she wouldn't.
MR. TONER: At this point now, I'm just going to say that I just don't like highly speculative questions. It's my natural reaction when somebody speculates to that degree.