House panel approves Benghazi report
after two-year probe
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[July 09, 2016]
By Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of
Representatives' special Benghazi committee approved its report on
Friday on the attack in Libya that killed four Americans in 2012, but
the Republican-led panel set no date for ending its work after a
The committee's chairman, Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, said the
panel voted to approve the 800-page report, with seven Republicans in
favor and four Democrats opposed, in a closed-door meeting.
Republicans had issued the report on June 28. It included no major new
revelations about the assault in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador
Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
But it criticized presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary
Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time of the violence, saying
both she and her staff showed a "shameful" lack of response to
congressional investigators looking into the attack on a U.S. diplomatic
It also accused Clinton's State Department of failing to protect the
Americans killed. Last October, Clinton, already a Democratic
presidential candidate, calmly deflected harsh Republican criticism of
her handling of the attack during a testy 11-hour hearing before Gowdy's
Democrats have derided the report as a political vendetta against the
former secretary of state. Republicans said the committee's work would
not wrap up until materials related to the report are reviewed for
classified information and potential perjury claims, which would be
referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"If you thought a vote today would be the end of this partisan chapter
of our history, you would be wrong," Representative Elijah Cummings, the
ranking Democrat on the panel, said in a statement.
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The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by
an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in
the United States September 11, 2012. REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori/File
"The Select Committee is poised to last for months - perhaps until
right before the presidential election - and that appears to be the
Republican plan," Cummings said.
Republicans plan more interviews, including one next week with
Stephen Hedger, the head of legislative affairs at the Department of
Defense, Cummings said.
Panel Republicans issued a joint statement calling the investigation
"a great privilege and honor." They urged President Barack Obama's
administration to clear for public release all of the supporting
evidence and documents referenced in the report.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Tom Brown)
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