It will be important to see whether the White House cooperates with the select committee the House plans to appoint to uncover facts about the 2012 Benghazi attack, Rep. Ed Royce said.
Speaker of the House John Boehner announced on May 2 lawmakers would vote to establish a select committee to investigate the events surrounding the bombing of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Emails surfaced April 29 that indicated the White House aimed to explain the attack in a manner that portrayed President Barack Obama favorably.
"The question is, what type of cooperation are we going to see out of the White House?" the California Republican asked on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Monday.
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Royce, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, questioned why it took nearly two years to get the White House to release the emails. Government watchdog group Judicial Watch succeeded in getting the documents, originally requested by Congress, through a Freedom of Information Act request.
"If you wait 20 months to get a document, it's a question in terms of what the administration is up to in not coming clear with the oversight responsibilities that Congress has here," he said.
Members of Congress needed to "get our hands on the documents that the White House has been withholding," Royce asserted. He said President Obama's description of the attack was "a very different reality than the one on the ground."
Royce called attempts by the White House to cover up the explanation for the attack a "conspiracy." He said the newly released emails indicate a "failure of policy" by neglecting to provide adequate security for U.S. officials leading up to the attack.
"The policy failure here is not listening to your assets on the ground," Royce said. "This is a very real issue."
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