05.02.2014 0

Rep. Frank Wolf’s efforts on Benghazi investigation finally pay off

Frank-WolfBy Tom Toth

House Speaker John Boehner announced today that the House of Representatives will appoint a House Select Committee to investigate the September 11, 2012 attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi, which resulted in the tragic deaths of four American citizens. The House Select Committee comes in the wake of new e-mails indicating a White House cover-up of the Benghazi tragedy from the start.

No one person has worked harder to make a House Select Committee on Benghazi a reality than Virginia Representative Frank Wolf, who first petitioned to Speaker Boehner in  2012 to appoint the select committee and introduced a widely-endorsed bill to create it weeks later. Retiring this year, this accomplishment serves as a worthy capstone to Wolf’s successful career on Capitol Hill.

Below is Wolf’s response to the announcement of the House Select Committee on Benghazi:

“I applaud the Speaker for taking this critical step toward ensuring that the families of the victims – and the American people – will finally learn the truth about what happened in Benghazi that night, as well as in the days and weeks that followed.

“A Select Committee will ensure that this investigation moves forward unhindered by jurisdictional barriers and allows for additional interviews with key administration witnesses, including White House staff, present and former, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, former CIA Director David Petraeus and Attorney General Eric Holder, and their senior staff who were present the night of the attack and involved in the response in the days after.

“It will be important for a Select Committee to hold public hearings with witnesses to determine just what the Unites States was doing in Benghazi, what happened that night, both in Libya and in Washington, and determine who bears responsibility for misleading the American people in the aftermath.  There should be no time limit on Members’ questions with witnesses so they can explore all necessary issues.

“It also will be important for a Select Committee to have subpoena authority, especially in light of the documents released this week by the government watchdog group Judicial Watch that made abundantly clear that we cannot trust the Obama Administration to be forthcoming.

“In addition, a Select Committee must be comprised of Members and staff with expertise in these types of investigations, including seasoned lawyers and investigators.

“I believe the apparent cover-up of what happened in Benghazi is ultimately about an abuse of power by the White House.  We need to know whether the administration used the intelligence community and law enforcement as cover for political purposes in the weeks leading up to President Obama’s reelection.

“When legitimate questions arise about abuse of power, the Congress has an obligation to do everything possible to learn the truth and there is a long precedent for using Select Committees for this purpose.

“There is nothing worse than a corrupt government.  Having worked in the Nixon Administration, I was disgusted by the abuses of power at the White House and in agencies like the FBI and Justice Department that were exposed by The Washington Post and led to the creation of a Select Committee on Watergate.  In the case of Benghazi, much credit goes to FOX News’ Catherine Herridge and Bret Baier for their tenacious commitment to this story and investigation.

As I said in a letter to the Speaker on Wednesday, although we cannot control how this administration pursues, or fails to pursue, those terrorists responsible for the deaths of four Americans, we can ensure that the American people learn the truth about what happened and which officials should be held accountable.  Today’s action will make sure the House does everything possible to ensure this happens.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank all the people and groups who have worked tirelessly – and relentlessly – to push for a Select Committee.  Their efforts have not gone unnoticed nor have they been unappreciated.  They helped make the difference.  I also want to thank my Legislative Director, Tom Culligan, who has been the lead staffer in my office on this issue, and the rest of my staff who has worked behind the scenes, including my Chief of Staff, Dan Scandling.”

Nathan Mehrens , president of Americans for Limited Government, also issued the following statement on the investigatory committee:

“Speaker Boehner’s reported decision to appoint a special committee to investigate the murder of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stephens in Benghazi more than a year and a half ago is a great step in getting to the bottom of the decisions that led to leaving Americans behind for a full seven hours without military support.  The news released this week that ties the Benghazi talking points directly to the White House along with a former National Security Advisor spokesperson’s admission that President Obama never even bothered to go to the War Room during the crisis makes a special committee with full subpoena powers a necessity.

“The families of those murdered, and all of those who serve our nation in the military deserve an answer to the basic questions:  Why were military assets not moved to protect the Benghazi consulate, and who made the final decision? And, who made up the talking points about a video being responsible when it wasn’t?”

 Tom Toth is the social media director for Americans for Limited Government.

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