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Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher June 11, 2020

No, Hillary Clinton isn’t on trial over the terror attack in Benghazi, Libya

If Your Time is short

  • Hillary Clinton is not on trial in connection with the 2012 terror attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

  • A court hearing was held on whether Clinton should be forced to give a deposition in a lawsuit that is seeking emails and other records regarding the attack.

With the death of George Floyd and its aftermath dominating the headlines, a Facebook post exclaimed:

"Did anyone realize Hillary Clinton is on trial for Bengazi (sic) this week or does the media have you blinded by riots?!?!?!"

The June 4 post, which gained 10,000 shares in a day, was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

A court case involving Clinton was in court, but she wasn’t on trial.

Terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in Benghazi, Libya, killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. At the time, Clinton was secretary of state. 

During Clinton’s 2016 run for president, her political opponents made a number of claims about her actions at the time of the attackst. We rated False a claim by Donald Trump, then the Republican nominee, that the Benghazi victims were "left helpless to die" as Clinton "soundly slept in her bed." A claim by then-House Speaker Paul Ryan, that "repeated requests for additional security in Benghazi were routinely denied" by "Clinton’s State Department," was rated True

On June 2, a hearing (not a trial) was held in a lawsuit involving the attack and Clinton’s use of a private email account and server during her tenure as secretary of state. 

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That lawsuit was filed in 2014 by Judicial Watch, a conservative group that litigates on public corruption and other issues against the U.S. State Department. The suit seeks records, including emails, in connection with the Benghazi attack.

Clinton is challenging a ruling that she can be deposed in the case. Her lawyers asked the federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to vacate the ruling.

According to coverage of the hearing by the National Law Journal, Politico and other news reports:

  • Judicial Watch attorney Ramona Cotca told the court that the group wants to identify all sources where Clinton emails reside, and wants the State Department to do an adequate search for emails.

  • Clinton attorney David Kendall told the court a deposition could be harassing, saying footage of a video deposition could be used by Judicial Watch for political or fundraising needs.

We don’t know how the legal maneuvering will turn out, but we do know the claim that Clinton is on trial is wrong. We rate the Facebook post False.


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No, Hillary Clinton isn’t on trial over the terror attack in Benghazi, Libya

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