Former Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Michael Mullen led then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Accountability Review Board. Fox reported moments ago that they were both asked to testify before today’s Benghazi hearing in the House.

Both formally declined.

Their board has come under recent scrutiny for failing to interview a number of people with direct knowledge of the events on the night of September 11, 2012, in which four Americans died in a terrorist attack at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. Among those whom the ARB never interviewed is Hillary Clinton, whose actions before, during and after the attack remain unclear.

Update: The refusal to testify regarded a March 14 Benghazi hearing, not today’s. According to a House Oversight Committee email distributed at that time:

Good morning,
As part of your Benghazi coverage, we thought you might be interested in looking into why Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen refused an invitation testify before Congress on the ARB report.  Their refusal came even though the empanelment of the ARB was required by law and they were required by law to present their findings to Congress.

When they refused, they indicated that it was not a timing issue – they told the committee they were simply not interested in testifying about their ARB work.

Frederick R. Hill
Director of Communications
Oversight & Government Reform
Darrell Issa, Chairman
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: 202-225-0037
Fax: 202-225-3974