House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa tweeted a photo of empty seats in his committee’s meeting room on Thursday after a number of Democrats apparently decided to skip the testimony of families of victims killed in the 2012 assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
The California Republican tweeted:
According to the website Townhall
, ranking member Elijah Cummings and Rep. Jackie Speier were the only Democrats who stayed for the testimony.
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Republicans and Democrats have been waging a political battle
over Benghazi since militants linked to al-Qaida affiliates attacked U.S. diplomatic outposts and killed Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans just over a year ago.
Republicans say the attacks exposed security lapses that must be addressed. Some also accuse Democrats of a cover-up to protect President Barack Obama as he ran for re-election, and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, considered a leading 2016 Democratic presidential candidate.
Democrats contend the incident was the type of tragedy that happens in a dangerous world. They say House Republicans are spending time and energy on Benghazi while ignoring issues like legislation to prevent a pending government shutdown.
Issa said on Fox News on Wednesday that he may call Clinton back to Washington to testify on Benghazi.
Issa's committee and a House Armed Services held separate Benghazi-related hearings on Thursday.
Reuters contributed to this report
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