Hicks described at length a phone call from Cheryl Mills, chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Ms. Mills was “upset” that he’d met with House investigators looking into Benghazi after being told he should not, he said. She questioned why a State Department lawyer wasn’t in that meeting. Hicks said the lawyer didn’t have the proper security clearance.
Hicks also asked other superiors why Susan Rice, US ambassador to the UN, had said the attack might have been a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islamic video. That video was a “non-event” in Libya, Hicks said, adding that it seemed clear from the first that the assault was a terrorist attack.
“The sense I got was I needed to stop the line of questioning,” Hicks told the House panel.
Since then, he’s been demoted, Hicks said. He’d been told he could expect a “good level of assignment” in the wake of his performance in the Libya tragedy. Instead, he’s been returned to Foggy Bottom and given a desk job as a foreign affairs officer.
“ 'Foreign affairs officer’ is a designation that is given to our civil service colleagues who – frankly who are desk officers.... So I’ve been effectively demoted from deputy chief of mission to desk officer,” said Hicks.