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‘It’s the Only Leverage We Have’: Hold on All Nominees Until Two Benghazi Requests Met

Concerned senators and House Oversight Republicans show unified front: "To have accountability, you have to have information."

Bridget Johnson


October 30, 2013 - 6:31 pm
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WASHINGTON — The Obama administration faces a Senate hold on all of its upcoming nominees — including Fed chair nominee Janet Yellen and President Obama’s pick for Homeland Security secretary, Jeh Johnson — unless it makes Benghazi survivors available to be interviewed by appropriate committees in Congress.

A coalition of longtime advocates of a full Benghazi investigation is also demanding to see the FBI transcripts from the interviews conducted with the survivors some 48 hours after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack when they were flown to Germany.

The lack of independent access for congressional oversight nearly 14 months after the attack on the diplomatic facility is setting a chilling precedent, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said at a press conference with allies on the Hill Wednesday afternoon.

“I don’t know how our country can function in the future if that becomes the norm,” he said.

Graham noted that the FBI is saying that they can’t share the content of the interviews because the inquiry is a criminal investigation. “Using that theory, Congress should have been shut out of investigating 9/11 itself,” he said. “That is a stunning statement and should be rejected as a proper answer to a legitimate question in a bipartisan fashion.”

“We cannot allow the FBI or this administration to deny the Congress vital information to investigate Benghazi… To have accountability, you have to have information.”

The State Department’s internal review, the Accountability Review Board, did have access to the survivors, but didn’t bother to interview Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to arrive at its findings.

“What the administration is doing is dangerous for representative democracy,” Graham said, adding that he will hold the nominees “not because I want to shut anything down, but because I want to open something up — I want to open up the truth about Benghazi.”

Graham was joined by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), as well as three House Oversight and Government Reform Committee members who have been leading the charge for a Benghazi investigation in the lower chamber: Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

The hold on nominations doesn’t include Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.), Obama’s pick for head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, as cloture has already been filed on that nomination.

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All Comments   (8)
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Right - and when Zero does an end run and appoints while congress is on vacation (should be coming up soon) the republicans will be whining 'what can we do'? The short answer is - probably nothing. Few have the cahones to stand up to this fraud. Please explain to me how this is different than how Hitler took over Germany in the 1930s.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What about facing up to the fact the GOP Establishment runs away from any leverage they have over issues. They either satisfy us boobs with sham hearings that produce nothing but some sound bites and then the issue disappears (Fast & Furious) or the Party simply decides to ignore the issue.

Until we deal with a Party that isn't even trying to be an opposition, but rushes to avoid confrontation, we cannot make any progress. To pretend this is some wonky inside baseball issue, not nearly as important as something else is to miss the point entirely. We can't win anything until we have a Party that will fight. Every time I suggested a campaign to oppose John Boehner as Speaker before he was reelected in Jan 2013, nobody wanted to do anything. Now we have a Speaker, and his cronies, that will not fight anyone but Tea Party types.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The hell of it is, is that I don't trust Graham, McCain or Ayotte either! What they say sounds good, but we've seen McCain in action regarding the "darn blame fence" during his campaign. Who's kidding whom? And isn't it curious that both feisty Graham and cuddly McCain are both being primaried?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Funny how these scandals rotate their time into the news - like watching a parade - in this case a parade of clowns from 'the most transparent administration ever'.

Yeah - right!

Is Benghazi cycling into the news now to take some of the heat off of Sebelius and Zero for their 'debacle' of the health care roll-out? Hillary is no longer inside the tent pissing out and instead is outside and likely it would seem - getting ready to piss into Zero's tent unless I miss with my guess.

Should be quite a battle - of liars and deceitful people if this happens.

This might split the democrat party wide open. And you thought the republican split was bad? These guys know how to fight nasty - the GOP are pikers in contrast.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Whatever the Soros Cabal had on the Clintons that took her out in 2008, they still have; she'll be a good girl and they'll allow her to step into Comrade Obama's slot. Unless, those nasty Republicans slime her so badly that she gets too far behind in the polls for them to be able to steal the election while maintaining the pretense that we still have a functional electoral system.

It didn't worry me so much that the NSA was data mining because so long a we have a reasonably honest judiciary, they can't use the mined data as evidence except in very limited, national security related circumstances. I've come to believe that either through a back door or even perhaps somewhat openly OFA has been allowed to mine the NSA data. I think all the hoopla about their volunteer computer geeks and selfless volunteer college students building and working their great new GOTV database was just a legend for the fact that they have used mined NSA data to create voters with all the indicia of being real people and are voting their created voters in strategic districts in "battleground" states. The Democrats can now "win" any reasonably close election.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"like watching a parade"

More like one of the old time westerns where they would have the Cavalry or Indian extras circle around and come over the hill again so that it would look like there were many more of them. After a couple of passes you would start to recognize some of them as they rode past the camera again and again.

All make believe but we are beginning to recognize poor little Obama's lies and missteps as they are paraded around again in front of us.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Whatever it takes.

I'm sure some of the older establishment republicans will criticize this effort just like they tried to trivialize and infantilize Ted Cruz making a stand.

But you've got a president who feigns outrage at travesties like Benghazi and IRS targeting and then, after the immediate heat dies down, does an about face and trivializes them as "phony scandals". And Congress doesn't have access to people actually in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, or, in the IRS scandal, receives volumes of blacked out pages as "evidence".

Softball won't work.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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