Fact Check

Was Hillary Clinton Recently 'On Trial' for Benghazi?

The former U.S. secretary of state's lawyers were in court in June 2020 for a hearing about a public records request, not for a Benghazi trial.

Published Jun 17, 2020

 (K2 images / Shutterstock, Inc.)
Image Via K2 images / Shutterstock, Inc.
Hillary Clinton was "'on trial' for Benghazi" in June 2020, but the news of it was obscured by other events.

In June 2020, as protests ignited by the police-custody death of George Floyd swept across the U.S., a widely shared social media meme asserted that former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been "'on trial' for Benghazi," but the news of that occurrence had been obscured by news media coverage of the Floyd protests:

But in fact, no legal activity -- either in the court system or in Congress -- involving Clinton and the 2012 attack against two United States government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, was taking place in June 2020.

This meme likely confusingly referenced a court hearing that took place on June 2 to determine whether Clinton should be compelled to submit to a deposition in a lawsuit. However, that lawsuit was about a records request and compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) related to Clinton's use of a private email account and server during her time as secretary of state -- it had nothing to do with the 2012 attack in Benghazi, was not a "trial," and did not involve any appearance by Clinton herself in court.

A House Select Committee extensively investigated the 2012 attack that left four Americans dead in Libya and issued a lengthy report that found no wrongdoing on the part of Clinton in connection with that event:

Ending one of the longest, costliest and most bitterly partisan congressional investigations in history, the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued its final report, finding no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in the 2012 attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead.

The 800-page report delivered a broad rebuke of the Defense Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department — and the officials who led them — for failing to grasp the acute security risks in Benghazi, and especially for maintaining outposts there that they could not protect.

Previous investigations concluded that State Department officials had erred in not better securing the diplomatic compound amid reports of a deteriorating security situation. But they also determined that the attacks had come with little warning and that it would have been difficult to intervene once they had begun.


Herszenhorn, David M.   "House Benghazi Report Finds No New Evidence of Wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton."     The New York Times.   28 June 2016.

Gerstein, Josh.   "Appeals Court Mulls Making Hillary Clinton Testify on Emails."     Politico.   2 June 2020.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.