Gregory Hicks, deputy chief of mission for the United States in Libya, and the top US official in Libya after the September 11, 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks, testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today – and he told Congress that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department lawyers tried to stop him from talking to Congresspeople investigating. “I was instructed not to allow the RSO [Regional Security Officer], the acting deputy chief of mission and myself to be personally interviewed by Congressman [Jason] Chaffetz [of Utah],” said Hicks.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) couldn’t believe what he was hearing: “So the people at State told you, ‘Don’t talk to the guy who is coming to investigate?'” Hicks’ answer: “Yes, sir.” Jordan pressed: “You’ve had several congressional delegations come to various places you’ve been around the world. Has that ever happened, where lawyers get on the phone to you prior to a congressional delegate coming to investigate … Have you ever had anyone tell you, ‘Don’t talk with the people from Congress coming to find out what took place?” Hicks: “Never.”
Jordan then asked Hicks whether a lawyer from State had been sent with Hicks when the Congressional delegation arrived – whether State had forced a minder on Hicks. “Yes, sir, that’s true,” said Hicks. Hicks went on to describe a classified briefing he had with Rep. Chaffetz in Libya: “The lawyer was excluded from the meeting because his clearance was not high enough, and the delegation had insisted that the hearing not be limited.” Hicks stated that the lawyer attempted to get into the briefing anyway, and the annex chief would not allow it.
After that meeting, Hicks was called by Cheryl Mills, counselor for the State Department and staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Mills was deputy White House counsel under the Clinton administration, and she was termed the “shining star of the defense team” for President Clinton’s Senate impeachment trial. Jordan described Mills as “as close as you can get to Secretary Clinton.” Hicks told the story: “A phone call from that … person is generally not considered to be good news …. She demanded a report on the visit … She was upset … She was very upset.”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).