Hillary Clinton won’t be the first presumed presidential candidate to be dragged before a congressional committee if and when she testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, but she won’t be far from it. “We’d put it in the rare, but not unprecedented category,” Don Ritchie, the official historian of the Senate, told msnbc. Ritchie could find only a few instances of declared or likely presidential candidates testifying before congressional committees in American history. While there might be a few more examples, given the vagaries of declaring a run for the presidency, there’s no question the practice is “very rare," he said.
Clinton’s most recent predecessor would be Ross Perot, the independent billionaire conflict over requested testimony from a Senate select committee on prisoners of war became a minor subplot to his 1992 presidential campaign against Clinton’s husband. Perot agreed to testify before the committee, helmed by then-Sen. John Kerry, but backtracked in June, fearing that the "highly-emotional, pre-election atmosphere" would turn the hearings into a "political circus."