The ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee said he’s spoken to former CIA Director David Petraeus about still testifying on the Benghazi attack — and the answer is not now.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) said on ABC’s This Week this morning that his committee wasn’t told about the Petraeus investigation — reportedly centering around his mistress and emails — until Friday, when the general’s resignation was announced.
“He and I have already had a conversation. You know, he’s trying to put his life back together right now and that’s what he needs to focus on,” Chambliss said in regard to Thursday’s closed-door Benghazi hearing, at which Petraeus was supposed to testify.
“His very capable deputy Morrell, Mike Morrell, is going to be testifying next Thursday. That’s fine, because he certainly was there when all of the decisions for made relative to Benghazi,” the senator said. “But at the end of the day, I would not rule out General Petraeus being called to testify. That still could happen at some point in time.”
Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said on Fox News Sunday that Petraeus “is going to be part of the hearing process” and to call the former director to testify “will be a committee decision.”
“I think we should have this first hearing, which is the way they wanted to set it up and then, the committee will make the decision,” she said.
Democrats strived to separate the Petraeus resignation and the Benghazi hearings.
“I do think that the CIA will have the capacity and will be able to respond to questions on Capitol Hill regarding Benghazi, and I think those are actually two very separate things, and we’ll get to the oversight on Benghazi and Libya over these next several weeks, and then General Petraeus will have a chance to put his life together separate and apart from his service,” said Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) said on ABC.
Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), appearing after Chambliss, predicted that the Petraeus affair is “going to make for a little more exciting lame-duck season.”
“I think we’re going to find out more. I mean, right now, it’s all speculation. We don’t know even when the affair began, whether or not some of the questions he was asked during his vetting process he may have been untruthful for,” Schock said. “It’s obviously a tragedy. He was well respected by the Bush administration, rewarded by the Obama administration.”