The hearing became a tussle between Republicans who believe there are still serious questions to answer about what happened in Benghazi -- as well as those who appear to want to dent her presidential ambitions -- and Clinton as she tries to build on a resurgence in her campaign after a tough summer.
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio submitted the former secretary of state to a dramatic period of questioning when he alleged that she and other Obama administration staff tried to blame the attack on the consulate on an anti-Muslim YouTube video to avoid undercutting President Barack Obama's claims that he had crushed Al-Qaeda.
"You could live with a protest about a video, that won't hurt you, but a terror attack would," Jordan said, saying that Americans could accept, reluctantly, compatriots being killed abroad but "what they can't live with is when their government is not square with them."
Clinton rejected the claim, saying in the desperate hours after the attack on September 11, 2012, that information on the true nature of the assault on the compound by a mob was unclear.
"I am sorry that it doesn't fit your narrative congressman, I can only tell you what the facts are."
Another Republican, Rep Mike Pompeo of Kansas, tried to rile Clinton by asking why her old friend and political operative Sidney Blumenthal had been able to send her personal emails, requests for more security from U.S. staff in Libya did not reach her desk.
There were several occasions when Democrats teed up questions for Clinton that allowed her to speak at length and in personal terms about the events in Benghazi.
At the prompting of Cummings, she spoke movingly about the deaths of Stevens and State Department Information management officer Sean Smith from smoke inhalation.
With an eye on the audience outside the Capitol Hill hearing room, Clinton said that she wanted members and "viewers in the public to understand this was the fog of war" in the confused hours after the attack.
And she related how a security agent with Smith and Stevens had "turned back into that diesel smoke desperately trying to find Chris and Sean. He did find Sean and Sean had succumbed to smoke inhalation ... He could not find Chris Stevens."
If this all sounds familier, that's because it's been three years of the same idiocy over and over again, and as long as the GOP holds the House, these ending will never, ever end. They've already made that clear.
The witch hunt will continue for another, what, 9 years? Count on it.