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Rep. Rohrabacher: Lack of Response by State on Benghazi is a Cover Up that Borders on Contempt of Congress; Calls on Kerry to Stop Stonewalling on Attack Survivors

Mar 11, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) called on Secretary of State John Kerry to immediately respond to congressional requests for information regarding the Americans survivors of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. In a letter to Secretary Kerry, Rohrabacher charges the Obama administration with obstructing congressional access to information and witnesses,  misrepresenting facts concerning the attack and intentionally withholding information from the American people. Rep. Rohrabacher describes the failure of the State Department under Secretary Hillary Clinton to respond to House inquiries as a "cover up" that "bordered on contempt of Congress" and a case of "stonewalling" perhaps as part of "an effort to cover up evidence of wrongdoing or incompetence." Four Americans were murdered in the Benghazi attack, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

During her appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 23, then Secretary Clinton claimed no one at the State Department had debriefed the survivors of the attack. The House Foreign Affairs Committee has repeatedly requested access to the Benghazi survivors, but the State Department has failed to reply.

"This is unacceptable," writes Rep. Rohrabacher. "As a Senator, you would not have tolerated such behavior, and you should not perpetuate it now."

"Certainly in the two months since the hearing, and the six months since the attack, the survivors have been interviewed and debriefed by the State Department and other government agencies with a stake in understanding this terrorist incident and  a responsibility to correct any flaws in the system that lead to the deaths of our diplomatic personnel,” states the letter.

"The House Foreign Affairs Committee has a right to know what the survivors saw and experienced in the service of their country on that dreadful night…I will be recommending to Chairman Royce and to Committee on Oversight and Government  Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, that if the situation does not immediately improve, legal charges be leveled against those responsible to insure details of this attack on American diplomatic personnel are not kept hidden from the American people,” concludes Rohrabacher.

Rep. Rohrabacher is Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threat.