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Inside Politics

Rice to testify April 8

Testimony to come under oath, in public



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September 11 attacks
Condoleezza Rice

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The president's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, will testify before the full 9/11 commission on Thursday, April 8, according to the commission.

President Bush announced Tuesday that he would allow Rice to testify publicly and under oath, reversing a position the administration had maintained for weeks.

The White House had argued previously that doing so would be counter to long-standing precedent. She is being allowed to testify on the condition that her appearance is not seen as setting a new precedent.

Rice is to testify from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Hart Senate Office Building, the commission said in a news release.

"I'm pleased she's going to testify," Bush adviser Karen Hughes told CNN. "I think it's important that she be able to present the facts to the American people because I think, frankly, last week they got a rather distorted view."

Last week, Richard Clarke, Bush's former top anti-terrorism adviser, accused the administration of not acting on his warnings about terrorism before the attacks and then focusing on Iraq at the expense of efforts in Afghanistan.

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States -- as the 10-member bipartisan panel is formally known -- is investigating events leading up to the September 11, 2001 attacks, including any security and intelligence lapses.

The commission is also charged with issuing recommendation on how to prevent attacks, and its findings are due July 26.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux contributed to this report.


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