Santorum: Boehner Had to Order Benghazi Probe

Sunday, 04 May 2014 05:39 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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House Speaker John Boehner had no choice but to create a special committee to review and investigate the Obama administration's actions and handling of the 2012 Benghazi attack, Republican former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum believes.

"I can tell you that there's a firestorm out there across America among a lot of Republicans who believe that we have not been diligent in taking this issue on," Santorum said during a panel discussion Sunday ABC's "This Week."

Urgent: Do You Think There is a Cover-up on Benghazi? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

Further, Santorum said, an email released last week that informed then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to "underscore" that the attacks were spurred by an internet video when she spoke of them in interviews is adding fuel to the fire.

The White House and many Democrats steadfastly maintain that the email to Rice didn't concern the Benghazi attack, but instead referenced other protests in the Middle East, a claim that New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte said on "Fox News Sunday" "doesn't pass the laugh test."

Santorum said Sunday that Boehner, an Ohio Republican, has no choice but to move forward with an investigation, and that he should assign "someone who has credibility among the Republican base."

Santorum believes Boehner's choice, South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, is the perfect choice and he is "very hopeful that the speaker will put him in that position.

But while Boehner is calling for a bipartisan committee investigation, many Democrats are stating they believe yet another probe would be a waste of time.

California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, also on Fox News Sunday, called on fellow Democrats to refuse joining or voting for the committee.

"I don't think it makes sense, really, for Democrats to participate," Schiff, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News' Chris Wallace on Sunday, calling the committee a "tremendous red herring and a waste of taxpayer resources."

A committee investigation, with or without Democratic participation, could level damaging charges against the Obama administration as the midterm elections are heating up. They could cast doubt on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if she chooses to seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

Former White House senior adviser David Plouffe, who is now a political strategist, was also on the ABC "This Week" panel and disagreed with Santorum, saying, like Schiff, that another Republican-led probe of the Benghazi attacks, which left four dead, is unnecessary.

"Benghazi was was a tragedy. What we need to do is figure out how to prevent it from happening again and to try and hold those accountable, as we did [Osama] bin Laden," said Plouffe.

"This has been politicized like we've never seen before...What ought to be done here is not another bogus committee, but real work to protect our agencies," Plouffe said.

Urgent: Do You Think There is a Cover-up on Benghazi? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

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