Stakes high for Clinton, GOP as Benghazi takes center stage – My Way News

In this Oct. 16, 2015, photo, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a town hall meeting in Keene, N.H. Clinton is taking center stage as the star witness in the Republican-led investigation into the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

In this Oct. 16, 2015, photo, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a town hall meeting in Keene, N.H. Clinton is taking center stage as the star witness in the Republican-led investigation into the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of buildup, Hillary Rodham Clinton finally takes center stage as the star witness in the Republican-led investigation into the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Clinton, the Democratic front-runner for president, testifies from a position of political strength as her potential rival for the nomination, Vice President Joe Biden, announced Wednesday that he will not jump into the presidential race and she rides the momentum of a solid debate performance.

In advance of her testimony, Clinton campaign released a summary that said she is appearing before the committee to honor the memory of the four Americans killed in Benghazi. The summary said Clinton will testify that Benghazi was a tragedy that must be learned from but that America must continue to lead in a dangerous world.

“To do otherwise would mean drawing the wrong lesson from Benghazi,” she will say, according to the summary.

Clinton will vow to pursue a “smart brand of leadership” that balances diplomacy, development and defense, and will say this approach to diplomacy involves an element of risk-taking that can never be eliminated outright.

At the same time, the Benghazi committee is on the defensive as the panel’s GOP chairman scrambles to deflect comments by fellow Republicans that the inquiry is aimed at hurting Clinton’s presidential bid.

Clinton faces a formidable challenge as she tries to explain security lapses at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, the slow military response to the violence and the Obama administration’s changing narrative about who was responsible for the attacks that killed four Americans, including U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens, and why the attacks were launched.

In a high-stakes, day-long appearance that could solidify her hold on the Democratic nomination or raise doubts about her candidacy, Clinton also is certain to face questions about her use of a private email account and server while serving as secretary of state.

The committee also faces a make-or-break moment. The panel’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, and other Republican investigators know their questioning of Clinton could revive the beleaguered panel’s credibility or undermine it even further.

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