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State Department ready to meet immediately on Benghazi

WASHINGTON — The State Department says it is prepared to meet immediately with a special House committee investigating the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

The department said in a letter Wednesday that officials could meet “as soon as today” to schedule interviews with up to 22 potential witnesses requested by Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, chairman of the Benghazi panel. The letter comes a day after Gowdy complained about resistance from the State Department and vowed to “ratchet up” his inquiry.

The letter from Julia Frifield, assistant secretary of State for legislative affairs, said many of the 22 people named by Gowdy work overseas, so scheduling interviews may be difficult.

Gowdy said Tuesday he is likely to call former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as a witness.

MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press