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Clinton to testify on Benghazi attacks before House committee next week

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FILE: June 12, 2012: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department, in Washington, D.C. (AP)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify Jan. 23 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the Benghazi attacks, committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce said Monday night.

The California congressman said Clinton will answer questions about the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

Clinton is scheduled to step down as from her post as President Obama begins his second term.

She had been scheduled to testify before House and Senate committees last year but contracted a stomach virus, fell and suffered a concussion, which has delayed her testimony.

The 65-year-old Clinton was hospitalized in New York on Dec. 30 and was treated for several days for a blot clot related to the fall. She returned to work Jan. 7.

The Benghazi attack has raised questions about diplomatic security prior to the attacks and the administration’s public response in the aftermath.

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said the attacks appeared spontaneous and sparked by an anti-Islamic film. Administration officials later acknowledge the attacks were terror related. Rice said she was working off talking points supplied to her, later acknowledging giving out incorrect information.

Clinton testimony on Capitol Hill will clear the way for Senate confirmations hearing for Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry, whom Obama has nominated has her replacement.

“I appreciate Secretary Clinton’s desire and willingness to testify before the committee as we continue to examine this deadly terrorist attack in an effort to ensure that nothing like it happens again,” Royce said. “My intention is for this hearing to focus on why this attack was not better anticipated, what leadership failures at the State Department existed.”