Lawmakers Call for Select Committee to Investigate Benghazi Attack

June 5, 2013
More than 160 House Republicans, including Lamborn, have called for the creation of special congressional panel to investigate the attack

More than 160 House Republicans, including Lamborn, have called for the creation of special congressional panel to investigate the attack

WASHINGTON — All four of Colorado’s Republican U.S. Representatives have called for the creation of a special congressional committee to examine the Obama administration’s handling of the attack on the mission in Benghazi, Libya last year.

Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Springs Republican, was the latest to join the group. On Friday, the four-term lawmaker announced on a local radio talk show he thinks that Congress needs to take an additional step to examine the administration’s response to the lethal assaults on Sept. 11 and 12.

“I’m coming out and lifting my voice as well as others and saying that we should have a select committee to investigate Benghazi,” Lamborn told KVOR host Richard Randall on his morning program.  “I’m not saying we would get to the bottom of it if the administration is bent on obstructing the truth, but we have a path to do it.”

A spokeswoman for Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) did not confirm Lamborn’s name was added to the list of more than 160 House Republicans who have called for the creation of select or special congressional committee to handle the matter.

The names of Representatives Scott Tipton of Cortez, Cory Gardner of Yuma, and Mike Coffman of Aurora also appear.

A select committee has the authority to subpoena and interview executive-branch officials among all agencies and publish a single report on the administration’s handling of the incident. House committees such as Oversight and Investigations and Foreign Affairs have held hearings on the attacks.

Unlike those panels, a select committee expires after 90 days and has more of an investigatory than legislative bent. It would contain 19 members, 11 of which would be Republicans and could consist of the two top members on the Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Judiciary, and Oversight committees.

Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed after al-Qaeda affiliated militants attacked the mission and CIA facility.

House Republicans accuse the administration of negligence and misleading Congress about the Benghazi episode, urging the executive branch to release all of its emails about the attack.

White House officials accuse Republicans of a partisan witch hunt to smear the reputations of President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Obama administration’s response to the attacks has become a political football in Washington, and not just between members of the two main political parties. House Speaker John Boehner is receiving pressure from conservatives in the House GOP caucus to appoint the select committee.

The same day the Oversight committee heard from three State Department whistle blowers about the night of the attacks at the mission and a CIA compound, Wolf sent Boehner a letter that urged him to appoint a special committee that “breaks down the silos that obstruct investigations.”

A Wolf spokesman added that two-thirds of House Republicans have added their names to House Resolution 36.

“We hear about Benghazi from constituents pretty much every day in the district,” Rachel George, spokeswoman for Gardner of Yuma, said in an interview.

An ABC-Washington Post poll conducted May 16-19 found that 55 percent of Americans don’t trust the administration’s handling of Benghazi. Respondents were asked, “Do you think the Obama administration is honestly disclosing what it knows about what occurred in Benghazi or is it trying to cover up the truth?” Eighty-eight percent of Republicans and 60 percent of independents said the administration’s response could not be trusted. Twenty-nine percent of Democrats agreed.

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