Furious that alleged "smoking gun" emails shedding new light on the White House response to the 2012 Benghazi attack weren't turned over to Congress sooner, House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday demanded an explanation from Secretary of State John Kerry.
Boehner, in a statement, said withholding the information is the "most flagrant example yet of the administration's contempt for the American people's right to know the truth about what happened when four Americans died in a fiery terrorist attack," The Hill reported.
Earlier Thursday, GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House oversight committee, said keeping the email from Congress was "possibly criminal," news outlets reported
"Someone needs to answer why this administration hid these documents — and tell the American people what else is being concealed," Boehner said in the statement, according to The Hill.
"The House used its subpoena power to obtain documents, including emails, last year, but these emails didn't show up until now, after a court ordered their release to an outside watchdog group."
"If the White House won't explain it, Secretary Kerry should come to the Capitol to explain why he defied an official congressional subpoena," Boehner demanded. "And the White House needs to understand that this investigation will not end until the entire truth is revealed and justice and accountability are served."
The previously undisclosed emails — which surfaced this week after they were obtained by Judicial Watch — show that Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes helped work up
talking points for then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to use on Sunday talk shows, with advice "to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy."
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has characterized the document as a "smoking gun"
showing "political operatives in the White House working to create a political narrative at odds with the facts."
But the White House has insisted
the email was not specifically about the attack in Benghazi, but pertained to protests erupting throughout the region over a controversial anti-Muslim video.
Carney Thursday accused GOP representatives in the House of seeing controversy where there is none
"This is a conspiracy theory in search of a conspiracy," Carney said of the furor.
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