Gregory Hicks was the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli during the September 11, 2012 assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. On Wednesday, he told the House Government Oversight Committee that the State Department went out of its way to keep Hicks from communicating with Congressman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Oversight Committee staff without a State Department lawyer.
The State Department seemingly made Hicks unavailable to the media, as the State Department switchboard had no information on Hicks’ whereabouts or contact information when Breitbart News asked for it in December and January.
“I was instructed not to allow the RSO, the acting Deputy Chief of Mission, and myself to be interviewed by Congressman Chaffetz,” Hicks told Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).
Chaffetz, along with a congressional delegation, visited the U.S. embassy in Tripoli following the attacks.
“You had several Congressional delegations come to you from various places around the world. Has that ever happened, when lawyers get on the phone to you prior a congressional delegation, coming to investigate a time when we’ve had four Americans lose their lives?” Jordan questioned. “Have you ever had anyone tell you, ‘Don’t talk with the people from Congress coming to find out what’s at play?'”
“Never,” Hicks responded. He said that it was the first time such an incident ever occurred.
According to Hicks, one of the State lawyers on the phone call tried to accompany the members of the delegation and staff from the Oversight Committee to every meeting Hicks attended.
The State Department lawyers were excluded from a classified briefing Hicks attended with the delegation because the attorneys did not have clearance to attend. The incident provoked a phone call from then-Sec. Clinton’s State Department Counsel, Cheryl Mills.
“You had another conversation on the phone with Cheryl Mills. She’s the counselor for the Department of State. She’s the staff counsel to Secretary Clinton,” Jordan clarified. He asked, “Is that a pretty important position?” Hicks responded affirmatively on both accounts.
“She is the fixer for the Secretary of State. She’s as close as you can get to Secretary Clinton?” Jordan asked.
Hicks agreed, saying Mills was “very upset” about State lawyers being excluded from the classified briefing with Chaffetz and the rest of the delegation.
“She demanded a report on the visit,” Hicks said. Mills served as the Counselor and Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton since January of 2009.