Boehner Pushes for Special Committee to Investigate Benghazi

Speaker cites “continued obstruction” by the Obama administration.

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner speaks during a news briefing after a House Republican Conference meeting January 14, 2014. 
National Journal
Billy House
Add to Briefcase
Billy House
May 2, 2014, 9:14 a.m.

Speak­er John Boehner said Fri­day he will ask the House to vote on the cre­ation of a spe­cial com­mit­tee to “el­ev­ate” to a new level the con­gres­sion­al in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to the Benghazi at­tack that killed four Amer­ic­ans.

The House Over­sight and Gov­ern­ment Re­form Com­mit­tee, chaired by Rep. Dar­rell Issa, has already is­sued a sub­poena for Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry to ap­pear be­fore his com­mit­tee on May 21 to an­swer ques­tions about the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s hand­ling of the at­tacks.

Boehner’s move is an­oth­er sign that Re­pub­lic­ans in­tend to con­tin­ue scru­tin­iz­ing the 2012 at­tack in Libya and ques­tion the ac­tions of then-Sec­ret­ary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton and oth­ers through this Novem­ber’s elec­tion, if not through 2016.

Spe­cific­ally, Re­pub­lic­ans are peg­ging their stepped-up ac­tions to email evid­ence they say proves that the White House pushed mis­lead­ing in­form­a­tion.

“In the days after four Amer­ic­ans were killed by ter­ror­ists, Pres­id­ent Obama’s ad­visers or­ches­trated a cam­paign to de­ceive their fel­low Amer­ic­ans as to what oc­curred, and we de­serve to know why,” Boehner said in a state­ment.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s con­tin­ued ob­struc­tion has made clear that it is time for a House se­lect com­mit­tee to force the ad­min­is­tra­tion to end its stone­walling and come clean to con­gres­sion­al in­vest­ig­at­ors, an in­quir­ing me­dia, and the Amer­ic­an pub­lic,” he said. “It’s clear that ques­tions re­main, and the ad­min­is­tra­tion still does not re­spect the au­thor­ity of Con­gress to provide prop­er over­sight. This dis­missive­ness and eva­sion re­quires us to el­ev­ate the in­vest­ig­a­tion to a new level.”

Re­pub­lic­ans are fo­cus­ing on a newly re­leased email dated Sept. 14, 2012 to then-United Na­tions Am­bas­sad­or Susan Rice lay­ing out what she should say when she ap­peared on TV after the at­tack. The email, ob­tained by the con­ser­vat­ive group Ju­di­cial Watch, was writ­ten by White House Deputy Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Ad­viser Ben Rhodes.

Re­pub­lic­ans say the email bol­sters their claims that the ad­min­is­tra­tion was try­ing to sidestep blame for the in­cid­ent by de­pict­ing the at­tack as triggered by a video that in­sul­ted Is­lam. But White House press sec­ret­ary Jay Car­ney has re­futed that, say­ing the email was about the protests tak­ing place across the Middle East at the time, not Benghazi spe­cific­ally. Car­ney also ac­cused Re­pub­lic­ans of con­tinu­ing an ef­fort to politi­cize the at­tack.

“What we have seen since hours after the at­tack be­gin­ning with a state­ment by the Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­ee for pres­id­ent, is an at­tempt by Re­pub­lic­ans to politi­cize a tragedy and that con­tin­ues today, and yes­ter­day,” Car­ney told re­port­ers dur­ing a brief­ing on Thursday.

A spokes­man for House Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi said Fri­day that she had yet to be con­tac­ted by Boehner or the Re­pub­lic­an lead­er­ship con­cern­ing a pro­pos­al to set up a se­lect com­mit­tee.

In the Sen­ate, Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id said Boehner’s an­nounce­ment shows that Re­pub­lic­ans care more about “de­fend­ing bil­lion­aires like the Koch broth­ers and try­ing to re­kindle de­bunked right-wing con­spir­acy the­or­ies than rais­ing the min­im­um wage or en­sur­ing wo­men re­ceive equal pay for equal work.”

What We're Following See More »
REPEATS CONTROVERSIAL CLAIM
Trump: Clinton “Doesn’t Have The Stamina” to be President
8 hours ago
DEBATE UPDATE

At the end of the debate, moderator Lester Holt asked Donald Trump if he stands by his statement that Hillary Clinton didn't have the look of a president. Trump responded by saying Holt misquoted him, instead saying that Clinton "doesn't have the stamina." Clinton responded by saying that when Trump visits 112 countries as secretary of state, he can talk to her about stamina.

WIDELY DEBUNKED CLAIM
Trump: Clinton Camp Started Birtherism
8 hours ago
DEBATE UPDATE

Donald Trump, when pressed by Lester Holt on why he finally admitted that President Obama was born in America, repeated his widely debunked claim that it was started by Hillary Clinton.

“AFRICAN AMERICANS” ARE “LIVING IN HELL”
Conversation Shifts to Race
8 hours ago
DEBATE UPDATE

Hillary Clinton went point by point on how race can so often determine the treatment that people receive, mentioning recent shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte, calling for restored trust between communities and police, and demanding criminal justice reform. Trump responded by calling for law and order and touting his endorsements from police unions. He then said that “African Americans are living in hell,” saying they are just walking down the street and getting “shot ... being decimated by crime."

JUST AS CLINTON INVITES VIEWERS TO VISIT HER SITE
During Debate, Trump Site Appears to Be Down
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

Just as Hillary Clinton was inviting debate viewers to visit her site for real-time fact checking, there appeared to be a problem with Donald Trump's own campaign website. For about a 15-minute period, a blank page or an error message appeared when we tried to load the Trump site.

INTERRUPTS CLINTON MULTIPLE TIMES
Trump Comes Out Swinging
9 hours ago
DEBATE UPDATE

Donald Trump has come out in the first segment of this debate raring to go. Trump has interrupted nearly every answer being given by Hillary Clinton, talking over her time and again. Clinton is sticking to her guns, smiling while Trump speaks and then calling on people to go to her website and see the fact checking being done.

×