Deputy Secretaries of State William J. Burns and Thomas R. Nides will testify to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Mrs. Clinton’s place on Thursday.
The 65-year-old former first lady fainted at her home last week, as a result of dehydration caused by a stomach virus, according to her spokesman, Philippe Reines at the weekend. She fell and sustained a concussion.
The announcement came after two days last week when officials had appeared to waffle on the question of whether Mrs. Clinton would testify on schedule Thursday. The timing caused some Republicans to question whether the medical advice might be a convenient way for her to avoid tough questioning from GOP critics.
Still, Republican lawmakers have insisted that Mrs. Clinton must testify eventually.
Answering tough questions about the attack “requires a public appearance by the secretary of state herself,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Last Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan E. Rice withdrew her name from consideration to replace Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state. Mrs. Rice was the official who stuck longest and hardest to the administration’s initial and inaccurate claims that the attack on the consulate was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islam video made in America, rather than a hastily planned assault by al Qaeda supporters and other extremists.
In Tuesday’s report, the Accountability Review Board confirmed that, contrary to initial reports, there was no protest outside the mission and the attack was entirely the work of terrorists.
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Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
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