This week the House Select Committee on Benghazi will interview prominent former national security officials David Petraeus and Leon Panetta, the committee announced Monday, as it continues an investigation into the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.
On Wednesday the panel will conduct a "private" interview with Petraeus, who was the director of the Central Intelligence Agency at the time of the raid. Petraeus, also a former commander of U.S. Central Command, resigned from the CIA following a scandal involving an extramarital affair.
Panetta, who served as President Obama's secretary of defense from 2011 and 2013, will be interviewed behind closed doors on Friday. Before his stint as head of the Defense Department, Panetta served as CIA director for two years until 2011 before Petreaus replaced him.
Also scheduled to testify in the coming days is Charlene Lamb, former deputy assistant secretary of state for international programs for diplomatic security. Jeremy Bash, former chief of staff at the Department of Defense has been invited to make an appearance.
In 2015, the committee, headed by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., conducted interviews with 64 witnesses and parsed through about 100,000 pages of documents from various departments and agencies, most of them never before seen by a congressional committee.
Hillary Clinton, who served as secretary of state at the time of the Benghazi incident, is arguably the most prominent figure in the committee's investigation. She has appeared before two congressional committees to talk about her response to the Benghazi attack, with the most recent appearance being before the Benghazi committee last October for an 11-hour marathon hearing.
Critics of the Republicans running the committee say it is nothing more than a political crusade to tarnish Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, allegations which GOP members deny.
The committee has interviewed some of Clinton's close confidants, including Clinton insider Sidney Blumenthal and former State Department Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, as well as other major officials in the Obama administration, including former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey.
In a statement, Select Committee on Benghazi spokesman Matt Wolking said that while the panel is "still waiting to receive crucial documents from the State Department and the CIA, and still waiting for important witnesses to be made available, the committee is diligently working to complete its thorough, fact-centered investigation and release a report with recommendations within the next few months."
"The American people and the families of the victims deserve to know the truth about what happened before, during and after the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks, and we must do everything we can to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future," the committee added.