A new report into the 2012 attacks on a US mission in Libya has found no new evidence of wrongdoing by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But the Obama administration was criticized for its response to the assault.
The 800-page report, which took two years to produce, showed no sign of a smoking gun pointing at the former US Secretary of State and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee for her response to the attacks, US media reported Tuesday.
None of the new revelations highlighted by the US House of Representatives Benghazi committee pointed specifically to Clinton's actions before during or after the 2012 attacks on the US diplomatic mission and CIA annex in eastern Libya.
But US President Barack Obama's administration was criticized for lax security and a slow response to the attacks by Islamist militants, which killed four Americans including US Ambassador Chris Stevens. The US State Department was singled out for failing to protect the Americans working at the site.
Clinton, who served as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 and is now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has previously been accused of a lack of response to investigations into the attacks. She testified in front of Congress last October.
US Democrats derided Tuesday's report as a political vendetta, pointing to seven other congressional panels that have investigated the attacks, which took place on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The latest investigation has been used by Republicans to attack Clinton's national-security credentials, and Donald Trump - the presumptive Republican presidential nominee - has repeatedly charged that she is personally responsible for the deaths of the US personnel.
On Tuesday, Clinton's campaign dismissed the committee's report, saying it had not found anything that had not been discovered by previous congressional probes. Clinton, speaking in Denver, said it was crucial to "learn the right lessons" from the tragedy but added that it was "time to move on."
Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy, who chaired the select committee set up to probe the attack, released the report with a tribute to the four Americans who died: Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department officer Sean Smith and CIA security contractors Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.
"Now, I simply ask the American people to read this report for themselves, look at the evidence we have collected, and reach their own conclusions," he said.
mm/jr (AP, AFP, Reuters)