State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told the press pool today that there are no updates on the independent investigative report of the security failures and response of the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya. When asked if the Accountability Review Board (ARB) was going to meet the deadline she replied, “We’ll know when we know.” She also explained that the ARB is under no legal obligation to release the report by mid-December, only that the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, asked them to try to finish the report by that time.
QUESTION: Okay. I’ve got just two very brief ones. There’s a lot of chatter on the Hill that the ARB report is imminent. Do you have any update on when that might happen? Is it going to – do you expect them to meet their statutory deadline? Or if there is – there is some leeway there. If they need more time, they can have it. Do you expect them to meet the deadline or do you think they’ll ask and get a little bit more time?
MS. NULAND: Well, just to recall that there’s no – in statute, there’s no deadline for when they have to complete their report. In this case, when the Secretary formed them, she asked them to try to meet a 60-65 day timeline. And they pledged to try to do that, which would take you into the middle of December. I don’t have any reason to think that we are off base there, but obviously, we want them to do it, do it right. And we’ll have – we’ll let you know when there’s something to announce.
QUESTION: Can you rule out this week?
MS. NULAND: I’m not going to – I don’t have anything to announce one way or the other. I think we’ll know when we know.