(Breitbart) -- Wednesday's testimony on the Benghazi terror attacks by State Department whistleblowers before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform contradicted several statements by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in testimony before House and Senate committees in January.
However, while Clinton may have misled Congress in her testimony, she likely did not commit perjury because she never actually testified under oath.
Video recordings of Clinton's Jan. 23 testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee suggest that she was never sworn in. Breitbart News subsequently confirmed with staff on both committees that she did not take an oath to tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth," as the three witnesses, all career civil servants, did Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee.
A Senate aide confirmed to Breitbart News Thursday: "We checked with the committee and she wasn’t sworn in." A House aide indicated that Clinton had not been sworn in, but added that "all witnesses testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, including Secretary Clinton, are under a legal obligation to tell the truth. Any misrepresentation to the Committee in the context of a review or investigation is a violation of law."
Perjury and lying to Congress are two different crimes. Perjury, defined under 18 U.S.C. § 1621, requires violation of an oath. The crime of making a false statement to Congress, defined under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, covers lying about or concealing a "a material fact" in "any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate."
The difference is subtle but significant. A witness testifying under oath is under a greater obligation to tell the truth right down to what he or she believes it to be. A witness merely testifying to a committee of Congress without taking an oath may not subjectively believe what he or she is saying but will probably escape punishment, so long as he or she does not "knowingly and willfully" misrepresent or cover up a material fact.
In 2004, the 9/11 Commission insisted on hearing testimony from then-National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice under oath, even after she had already spoken to the panel in a private interview, because of concerns about inconsistencies between her statements and those made by other witnesses. The White House initially resisted, then relented, and on Apr. 8, 2004, she took the oath and testified before the Commission. Continue reading via Breitbart...