The final report released by the House Select Committee on Benghazi found no new evidence of wrongdoing by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The 800-page report, focusing on the 2012 attack that left four Americans dead, revealed new details about the attack and berated several government agencies for failing to properly understand the risks in the Libyan city.
The report also suggests Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed along with three other colleagues on 11 September 2012, bore responsibility for post security, CNN reported on Tuesday 28 June.
According to the House report, Stevens and senior department officials hoped to establish a permanent consulate in Benghazi ahead of Clinton's planned visit in October. However, they were unable to find a suitable secure facility.
CNN also claim that there was available intelligence that hinted an attack was possible and that Clinton and her aide, Patrick Kennedy, should have recognised the risks. "It is not clear what additional intelligence would have satisfied either Kennedy or the Secretary in understanding the Benghazi mission compound was at risk—short of an attack," the report reads.
Clinton, in a hearing with the committee last year, contradicted the claim there was intelligence hinting at an attack. CNN reported that Clinton acknowledged she was aware of the dangers in Libya but "there was no actionable intelligence" that revealed a planned assault.
According to The New York Times, the report also criticised the Defense Department's delay in responding to the attack. "The assets ultimately deployed by the Defense Department in response to the Benghazi attacks were not positioned to arrive before the final lethal attack," the report reads. "The fact that this is true does not mitigate the question of why the world's most powerful military was not positioned to respond."
The Obama administration initially said the attack on Stevens and his colleagues came in response to a video mocking Islam and the Prophet Mohammed. However, the assault was ultimately determined to be a terrorist attack. The report accused the White House of delaying the investigation.
The report is the conclusion of a costly, estimated at over $7.1m (£5.3m) by Democrats, and severely partisan investigation they claim was an attempt by Republicans to derail Clinton's presidential ambitions. According to Reuters, seven other congressional panels have investigated the Benghazi attacks, with the report marking the last official attempt to investigate it.
In response to the report, Clinton said that after two years the committee had found "nothing, nothing" to contradict the report she commissioned from the independent Accountability Review Board. "I'll leave it to others to characterise the report but I think it's pretty clear it's time to move on," she said during a campaign stop in Denver.
Meanwhile, GOP rival Donald Trump reacted to the report on Twitter. "Benghazi is just another Hillary Clinton failure. It just never seems to work the way it's supposed to with Clinton. Hillary Clinton's Presidency would be catastrophic for the future of our country. She is ill-fit with bad judgement."
Reuters also noted that the committee investigation—led by Republican Trey Gowdy of South Carolina—lasted 782 days. The probe lasted longer than congressional investigations into Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President John F Kennedy, the Iran-Contra scandal and Hurricane Katrina.