The vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said the reclusive panel may open its doors for a fact-finding probe into the Benghazi attacks.
“Senator [Dianne] Feinstein and I have have already had a couple of conversations about this,” Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) said of his Democratic counterpart from California, who chairs the committee.
“I told her, I said I think we need to have an open hearing, which is unusual for us. Most of ours are classified. But we need to have an open hearing, we need to get the intelligence officials in, and just let them lay it out there,” Chambliss said on Fox this morning.
“This thing is getting more and more traction, more and more legs, and it’s getting uglier every day. And I think the thing we need to do, is be honest with the American people and say, here’s what we knew. Here’s when we knew it. Here’s what the president knew, and when the president knew it.”
Chambliss said pushback from both the White House and the intelligence community has bothered “all the members of the intelligence committee from Day One.”
“And we couldn’t figure it out. I mean, it was really strange because they never do that,” he said.
The senator said he didn’t think the intelligence community would participate in a cover-up of how the attack on the U.S. consulate happened.
“Now what goes on at the White House, for political purposes, maybe something entirely different,” Chambliss said.
The senator stressed that he wants to see the State Department emails obtained by Reuters showing that the White House was told Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility while the attack was still under way.
“We have been asking the State Department for these specific e- mails for weeks now,” Chambliss said. “And they’ve refused to give them to us to this point.”