Administration Blocking Benghazi Whistleblowers

Monday, 29 Apr 2013 06:51 PM

By David Yonkman, Washington Correspondent

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Whistleblowers in an investigation into the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, are being blocked by the State Department from accessing legal representation, a lawyer for one of the witnesses tells Newsmax.

“In order to tell the whole story, my client has to provide classified information,” attorney Victoria Toensing told Newsmax. The State Department “hasn’t acknowledged a process for doing that.”

Urgent: Get the Truth About President Obama.

The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee recently informed the whistleblowers — some of whom have already been cooperating — that they should lawyer-up in preparation for being called to testify in the massive probe.

Chairman Darrell Issa, California Republican, sent a scathing letter on Friday to Secretary of State John Kerry, saying the department was employing “a range of tactics to interfere with the committee’s investigation.”

“The investigation has proceeded despite efforts by department staff to limit the committee’s access to documents and witnesses,” Issa said.

The department has resisted the request from Issa in the past for access to State Department employees who may have direct knowledge of the attack, instead sending then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her two deputies to answer lawmakers’ questions.

“We think that we’ve done an independent investigation, that it’s been transparent, thorough, credible, and detailed, and that we’ve shared those findings with the U.S. Congress,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told The Hill. “And that should be enough.”

The frustration with the State Department comes on the heels of a report released last week concerning the Obama administration’s handling of the 2012 attack, saying officials “willfully perpetuated a deliberately misleading and incomplete narrative.”

In the days following the deadly attacks, White House and senior State Department officials “altered accurate talking points drafted by the intelligence community in order to protect the State Department,” according to the interim report on the Benghazi assault issued by Republicans in the House.

Urgent: Get the Truth About President Obama.

A member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, appearing on Fox News over the weekend, promised that “explosive” congressional hearings over the Benghazi attack are “coming quickly.”

“There are more Benghazi hearings coming. I think they’re going to be explosive,” Rep. Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, told Fox News.


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