State Department: Yes, We’ll Send Benghazi Documents — Again

Charles S. Clark, Government Executive
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Charles S. Clark, Government Executive
Aug. 13, 2013, 11:02 a.m.

WASH­ING­TON — The State De­part­ment on Monday af­firmed that it will con­tin­ue work­ing to meet House Re­pub­lic­ans’ on­go­ing de­mands for doc­u­ments re­lat­ing to the agency’s hand­ling of the Septem­ber 2012 fatal at­tack on the U.S. out­post in Benghazi, Libya.

In the latest re­quest, Rep. Dar­rell Issa, R-Cal­if., chair­man of the House Over­sight and Gov­ern­ment Re­form Com­mit­tee, on Aug. 8 sent a let­ter to former State De­part­ment spokes­wo­man Vic­tor­ia Nu­land de­mand­ing her emails con­cern­ing the much-de­bated tele­vi­sion “talk­ing points” from the days fol­low­ing the at­tack that left four Amer­ic­ans—in­clud­ing Am­bas­sad­or Chris Stevens—dead.

“You wrote that changes to the talk­ing points did not ‘re­solve all my is­sues or those of my build­ing lead­er­ship,’ ” Issa said in his let­ter. “Your email makes clear that de­part­ment lead­er­ship shared con­cerns with you about the draft talk­ing points. It is my hope and ex­pect­a­tion that the doc­u­ments I am re­quest­ing will identi­fy those con­cerns, and whose con­cerns they were.”

Issa went on to de­scribe as in­ad­equate the State De­part­ment’s re­sponse in hand­ing over 97 pages to com­ply with his May 28, 2013, sub­poena, say­ing it failed to ex­plain the email lan­guage. “The State De­part­ment con­tin­ues to re­fuse to make the doc­u­ments avail­able that would cla­ri­fy what as­pects of the talk­ing points your bosses were con­cerned about.”

In a state­ment emailed to Gov­ern­ment Ex­ec­ut­ive ac­know­ledging re­ceipt of Issa’s let­ter, a de­part­ment spokes­man said, “the 100 pages of emails on the talk­ing points were pub­licly re­leased months ago, but Chair­man Issa still is­sued a sub­poena on the top­ic, with which we fully com­plied. He con­tin­ues to ask about the talk­ing points and we will again work with him to ad­dress these is­sues.”

State has “demon­strated an un­pre­ced­en­ted de­gree of co­oper­a­tion with the Con­gress on the is­sue of Benghazi,” the state­ment con­tin­ued. “Spe­cific­ally, in sup­port of the in­vest­ig­a­tion, the State De­part­ment has par­ti­cip­ated in nearly 50 con­gres­sion­al hear­ings and brief­ings for mem­bers and staff, shared more than 25,000 pages of doc­u­ments with com­mit­tees, and made State De­part­ment em­ploy­ees avail­able for in­ter­views with the House Over­sight com­mit­tee.”

The spokes­man re­it­er­ated that the facts sur­round­ing the Benghazi in­cid­ent were laid out to Con­gress and the pub­lic in the in­de­pend­ent Ac­count­ab­il­ity Re­view Board re­port, and that State is com­mit­ted to im­ple­ment­ing all 29 of the re­port’s re­com­mend­a­tions. “Our dip­lo­mats con­tin­ue to serve in dan­ger­ous places,” he con­tin­ued. “People at the State De­part­ment are will­ing to step up and put them­selves in harm’s way, and it is a dis­ser­vice to them to politi­cize this is­sue.”

Issa gave State a dead­line of Aug. 15.

Re­prin­ted with per­mis­sion from Gov­ern­ment Ex­ec­ut­ive. The ori­gin­al story can be found here.

What We're Following See More »
TRUMP’S ATTORNEY WAS SET TO TESTIFY ON WEDNESDAY
Senate Intel Postpones Testimony by Cohen
23 hours ago
THE LATEST
AMENDMENT WOULD HAVE PREVENTED CONSIDERATION
Senate Rejects Effort to Nix SALT Tax Changes
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Senate Democrats on Thursday failed in their first attempt to save the state and local tax deduction, which helps many residents of California and other high-cost states reduce their federal income tax bills. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-47 to reject an amendment that would have prevented the Senate from considering any bill that repeals or limits the deduction as part of a planned tax overhaul."

Source:
INTERVIEWED BY COMMITTEE STAFF
Lewandowski Meets with Senate Intelligence Committee
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared on Capitol Hill for a closed-door interview with the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the matter. Lewandowski is the latest senior official in Trump's orbit who has met with the committee as part of its investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign."

Source:
FISHING EXPEDITION
Some Members Seek to Wrap Up Russia Investigations by Year’s End
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"A growing number of key Republicans are sending this message to the leaders of the congressional committees investigating potential Trump campaign collusion with the Russians: Wrap it up soon. In the House and Senate, several Republicans who sit on key committees are starting to grumble that the investigations have spanned the better part of the past nine months, contending that the Democratic push to extend the investigation well into next year could amount to a fishing expedition."

Source:
WROTE LAW THAT WEAKENED OPIOID OVERSIGHT
Trump: Marino Withdrawing Nomination for Drug Czar
4 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login