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US House Benghazi Panel Says State Dept. to Hand Over Documents

FILE - Sidney Blumenthal (L), a longtime Hillary Clinton friend who was an unofficial adviser while she was secretary of state, arrives to be deposed in private session of the House Select Committee on Benghazi at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, June 16, 2015.

The U.S. House of Representatives committee investigating the 2012 attacks on an American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, said the State Department has pledged to hand over 5,000 new pages of documents related to the incident on Tuesday.

"The State Department has informed the Committee it will make a production of approximately 5,000 pages tomorrow - the second largest production the Committee has received and the largest since last summer," Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, the committee's chairman, said in a statement on Monday.

The documents are not expected to include emails involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has been embroiled in a controversy over her use of a private email account while she was America's top diplomat.

At least four emails out of some 30,000 from Clinton's private account contained classified information, according to a government inspector's letter to Congress last week.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign event in New York, July 13, 2015.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign event in New York, July 13, 2015.

Clinton, who is the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, was secretary of state when Islamic militants attacked the Benghazi compound on Sept. 11, 2012, killing Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

The State Department has provided the committee with thousands of documents, but Gowdy has repeatedly said he is looking for additional records relating to some of Clinton's staff as well as the former secretary.

The South Carolina lawmaker says he wants all relevant documents before Clinton testifies to the committee. Her campaign has said she would testify in October, but the committee said the timing was not set.

In exchange for receiving the documents on Tuesday, Gowdy said, the committee had granted a request from Secretary of State John Kerry's chief of staff, Jon Finer, to postpone a hearing set for Wednesday at which Finer was scheduled to testify.

"As a condition of postponing the hearing, we made the reasonable request for a significant production of documents,” Gowdy said.

Republicans on the committee had been expected to grill Finer about what they considered the State Department's slow pace in handing over documents.

"If the State Department does not fulfill this production, or if production continues to be anemic and underwhelming, we will move forward with scheduling a compliance hearing before the Committee," Gowdy said.