A State Department official on Wednesday offered the first public testimony from an American diplomat who was on the ground in Libya the night last September when the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi was attacked. And he said he was later demoted for raising questions about how the attack was handled.
Mr. Hicks and two other State Department officials who were witnesses said they felt that the investigation of the episode undertaken by the department was inadequate because many people who were directly involved in the attacks — including some of them — were not interviewed.
“They stopped short of interviewing people who I personally know were involved in key decisions,” said Eric Nordstrom, an official in the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
And when Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah, visited Libya to investigate further, Mr. Hicks said his bosses told him not to talk to the congressman. When he did anyway, and a State Department lawyer was excluded from one meeting because he lacked sufficient security clearance, Mr. Hicks said he received an angry phone call from Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills.
“I was stunned,” Mr. Hicks said when asked what he thought when he heard Ms. Rice’s explanation. “My jaw dropped and I was embarrassed.”
“Why in the world would Susan Rice go on five talk shows and perpetuate a demonstrably false narrative?” asked Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina.