Escalating his investigation of the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi last year, Rep. Darrell Issa warned CIA and other government officials Wednesday to lawyer-up in preparation for a massive probe.
The California Republican who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sent letters Wednesday suggesting that some witnesses lawyer up before being called to testify, The Hill
reported. He also suggested that some witnesses should be prepared for retaliation from their employer, depending on their responses.
“Some witnesses may be required to retain personal counsel to represent them before the committee and in the event the agency subsequently retaliates against them for cooperating with the committee’s investigation,” the California Republican who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said in separate letters to the CIA, State Department, and Pentagon.
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Issa said some witnesses have already been cooperating with the investigation into the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11, 2012, the Hill reported.
“During the course of the investigation, numerous individuals have approached the committee with information related to the attack,” he wrote in the letters.
Issa asked the agencies to provide details on how to grant outside attorneys the security clearances necessary for them to adequately represent employees who discuss classified matters with congressional investigators.
Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra also told Newsmax Thursday that whistleblowers may have access to classified information and may need a lawyer to ensure that they comply with the rules, regulations, and legal requirements to protect themselves.
“There are multiple whistleblowers who want to get the story out,” Hoekstra said. “All of these people are very concerned that they do everything appropriately.”
“These whistleblowers still feel that there’s a gap between what’s in the public domain and what really happened,” Hoekstra continued. “They’ve all been frustrated.”
The move comes as more than 100 rank-and-file Republicans have increased their pressure on House Speaker John Boehner to create a 19-member select committee to look into the attack.
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