Roskam, Clinton clash at Benghazi hearing
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, a Wheaton Republican, clashed with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a daylong hearing Thursday centering on the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
In an especially pointed exchange, Roskam said Clinton was trying to get credit for diplomatic advances in the country and going on Sunday talk shows to take a "victory lap."
"Let me tell you what I think the Clinton Doctrine is," he said. "I think it's where an opportunity is seized to turn progress in Libya into a political win for Hillary Rodham Clinton."
"Well, congressman, that is only a political statement, which you well understand," Clinton replied. "And I don't understand why that has anything to do with what we were supposed to be talking about today."
Republicans and Democrats clashed over the hearing for weeks beforehand and throughout Clinton's testimony. Roskam in recent weeks had been talked about as a possible candidate to join House GOP leadership.
On the other side, Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a Hoffman Estates Democrat running for U.S. Senate, tried to characterize her questions in a second round of inquiry as "boring" for focusing on technical details and not politics.
"What needs to be done so that we can make sure that our four heroic dead did not lay down their lives in vain?" she asked.
Both Illinois lawmakers were appointed to the committee by their parties' leaders last year. The focus on the Benghazi attacks at a time when Clinton is running for president put them both in the national spotlight for the all-day hearing.
Roskam, an attorney, also drew attention for a couple exchanges with Clinton in which he interrupted his own questions to allow her to read a note at the witness table, which prompted a laugh from her.
"I'm not done with my question, I'm just giving you the courtesy of reading your notes," he said.
"That's alright," she said.