House panel demands deposition from Benghazi investigator

WASHINGTON Fri May 17, 2013 5:22pm EDT

U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) walks from a Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington December 18, 2012. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) walks from a Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington December 18, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican chairman of a congressional oversight committee on Friday ordered the leader of the investigation into the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks to sit for a private interview next week.

As Republicans and Democrats wage a political battle over the attacks in which four Americans were killed, U.S. Representative Darrell Issa issued a subpoena ordering retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering to appear for a taped deposition on Thursday to answer questions about the Accountability Review Board report he prepared on the incident.

Pickering and retired Admiral Michael Mullen, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who led the Benghazi review board, on Thursday had offered to testify publicly before the House of Representatives Oversight Committee.

But Issa, the committee chairman, insisted that committee staff members be allowed to conduct private interviews first because the committee still has too many questions about the ARB report on Benghazi.

"A fully informed hearing, in which the Committee begins with a factual understanding of how the Board reached its conclusions, is critical to engaging in a public discussion with you about criticisms career State Department officials levied at the ARB's efforts and recommendations," Issa said.

Republican charges that President Barack Obama's administration covered up details of the September 11, 2012, attack gathered more steam last week after a U.S. diplomat told Issa's committee he thought more could have been done to stop the assault by suspected Islamist militants.

Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the oversight panel, who has disagreed sharply with Issa's approach, calling the subpoena "a stark example of extreme Republican overreach and the shameful politicization of this tragedy."

Cummings called for a public hearing.

Issa offered to lift the subpoena if Pickering agreed to a private transcribed interview.

A spokesman for the committee said there were no plans to issue a subpoena for Mullen on Friday.

(Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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Comments (2)
brianinspkane wrote:
Abraham Lincoln once said, “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

Unfortunately the American people were not given the real facts regarding the Benghazi tragedy. An election needed to be won. Politics was placed above all. And truth became the fifth casualty of the conflict.

Lincoln also said, “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.”

Regarding the deaths of four Americans in Libya, the current display of a blithe disregard for the truth on the part of high ranking government officials is not only troubling, but forces the following conclusion:

If the Benghazi cover up is not wrong, nothing is wrong.

May 17, 2013 6:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
PortlandME wrote:
Briainspkane. All those words and you still got it wrong. There are no missing facts. There is no cover up. And, Obama and members of his team did not lie. Nine GOP Congressional hearings, media reports and an independent report has not uncovered any wrong doing. Serious, deadly mistakes were made, but no lies to cover them up. Give it up. Stop dancing on the graves of those brave Americans who did. You and the GOP are like a dog with a dry bone. There is no meat on the bone because this is a fake outrage.

May 18, 2013 11:22am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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