By Deirdre Walsh and Gregory Wallace
The State Department's rejection of "repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi" came amid "a clear pattern of security threats" in the five months leading up to the attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Libya, a Thursday letter from House Republicans obtained by CNN reads.
"The attack that claimed the Ambassador's life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012," the letter from Reps. Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reads.
The Republicans demanded answers to several questions and testimony at a hearing next Wednesday – the only hearing on any matter scheduled so far in the 35 days remaining until Election Day.
"Multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the Committee that, prior to the September 11  attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi," the letter continued. "The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington."
Clinton "intends to respond to the congressmen today" and "will send folks to their hearing" State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday afternoon, adding that the reply "will make absolutely clear the desire of this department, her personal desire, to cooperate closely with the committee and with all members of Congress."
"Her response is going to be relatively succinct today," Nuland said, "expressing her complete commitment and this building's commitment to work with the congress to get fully to the bottom of this. But I don't anticipate she'll be able to answer the specific questions today, but obviously that is our expectation and hope over time that we'll be able to answer all of the questions because we have questions, too."
Issa is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, and Chaffetz oversees the national security subcommittee. Chaffetz is also a top surrogate for the Romney campaign.
The September attacks claimed the lives of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others.