October 28th, 2013
05:10 PM ET
9 months ago

Obama nominees could be slowed over Benghazi concerns

Sen. Lindsey Graham will appear on "CNN's The Situation Room" Tuesday at 5pm

(CNN) - A top critic of the U.S. response to the terror attack on the Benghazi diplomatic compound said Monday that he would block all Obama administration nominees before the Senate until survivors of the deadly assault testify before Congress.

"I think the story was about the fact that our guys died in a different way than explained by the administration," Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told Fox News on Monday following a dramatic CBS "60 Minutes" interview with a man described as a British security officer who witnessed last year's attack.

"They died as a result of an al Qaeda planned attack that you could see coming," Graham said.

The South Carolina Republican was an early skeptic of the administration's initial assessment the September 2012 attack in eastern Libya that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans appeared to be the result of a demonstration over an anti-Muslim film produced in the United States.

Graham has pushed forcibly ever since to uncover details of what happened and why the administration appeared to bungle the response.

"Where are the survivors? Fourteen months later," Graham said. "The survivors, the people who survived the attack in Benghazi, have not been made available to the U.S. Congress for oversight purposes."

Graham said he would use Senate rules to stall approval of presidential nominees until he gets the testimony he wants.

"I'm gonna block every appointment in the United States Senate until the survivors are being made available to Congress. I'm tired of hearing from people on TV and reading about stuff in books. We need to get to the bottom of this," he said.

If Graham were to block a nominee, Democrats, who control the chamber, could make procedural moves to get around his objections. Doing so would require 60 votes to succeed.

An aide to Graham noted that the Senator previously blocked the nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA until the White House produced information on when President Barack Obama first contacted Libyan government officials about the attack.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday the administration has made "extraordinary efforts" to meet congressional demands for information about the attack.

"The State Department has worked in good faith to meet the Hill's many requests and will continue to review legitimate incoming requests. But let's be clear, some Republicans are choosing to play politics with this for partisan purposes and we find that unfortunate," Carney said. "What happened in Benghazi was a tragedy; it is the case that there was not adequate security."

An aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had no reaction to Graham's threat or say how it might impact the Senate schedule.

The Senate is expected to take up several high-profile judicial appointments and other nominations in the near future.


Filed under: Lindsey Graham • Obama administration • Senate
soundoff (615 Responses)
  1. Scott

    Why isn't anyone investigating the LIES BUSH told over the WMD in Iraq? How many Americans did HE kill with his made up war??? You people are so ignorant it's disgusting.

    October 29, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  2. randy

    he is another lost GOPer...

    October 29, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. Dawn

    Linds, you can TRY to block nominations. only takes 60 votes to do so. Good luck with that!

    October 29, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. vinster76

    'tis about time someone had the courage to do and say what needs to be done and said. This administration believes it is a law unto itself, has to answer to no one, and can rule by executive fiat......well done Lindsey, well done

    October 29, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Jay

    The question, why is it that 14 months after the attack that no testimonies have been heard by congress. This speaks volumes about the Obama Administration. People on here can say what you want about the GOP, but I'd much rather try to stop a train from going over a cliff than just ride happily along citing we're making forward progress.

    October 29, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. RockInD

    In Hind site, you can see every attack coming.

    October 29, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. Anonymous

    Sen. Lindsey Graham – this is not in the best interest of moving our country forward. Please say/do something that does.

    October 29, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. Dave

    They never learn. Let's grow up already and dump this ridiculous filibuster nonsense. Elections have consequences.

    October 29, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. rtkmd

    Picture of Capitol building would be more appropriate with a red light.

    October 29, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. GOAwful

    Whaaaa.. If I don't get what I want no one will. Whaaaaa.
    Bunch of Babies.

    October 29, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. Yakobi

    "What happened in Benghazi was a tragedy; it is the case that there was not adequate security."
    But I thought it was because of some obscure internet movie. That's what the administration told us over and over again. I'm sure they wouldn't have LIED to the American voters a month before a presidential election. No, they would be completely open and truthful and would want to fully comply with all investigations.

    Funny how with all these scandals involving the White House–Benghazi, Fast & Furious, IRS, AP–there's never a single democrat in either the House or Senate calling for an investigation. "Everything's fine, nothing to see here, move along" seems to be their mantra these days.

    "What difference does it make???" –Hillary Clinton.

    October 29, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. common sense

    This guy is one of the most partisan hacks to ever exist. But most of his constituents suffer from ODS** so what we expect?

    **ODS=Obama Derangement Syndrome....The acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the statements - nay - the very existence of Barack Obama.

    October 29, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Thorp lastenbar

    Lindsay, the most backward senator of them all. Investigate the Bush lies, finally!

    October 29, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. mike electrician

    Block...wow did the GOP learn any other words in kindergarten???

    October 29, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. jj

    More obstructionism from the Repubs. What s surprise – not.

    October 29, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. lsterne

    It is ridiculous, but the archaic rules of the Senate permit one: any: Senator to put a personal "hold" on any nomination and delay it indefinitely.
    The rule (like the 60 vote monstrosity) should be eliminated immediately, but it probably won't be.
    Our nation is rapidly losing it's ability to govern itself. Have anyone thought of what might happen after we reach that point?

    October 29, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Larry

    Maybe someone will take care of him and he will change his mind. I feel sorry for the,( should I call them interesting bigots), that vote for him. He certainly is a hateful person Doesn't he realize, Republicans cut back funding for the protection of our Embassy's?.

    October 29, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. RCM

    The continuing Republican war on America.

    October 29, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. manlian

    Block them ALL! Obama isn't an American. He has destroyed America and continues to do so.

    October 29, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. scott

    i will block his nominations, i will i will...if he nominates anybody, i will just hold my breathe till i get my way, i will i will

    October 29, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. floyd from illinois

    Graham must not be up for re-election next year.

    October 29, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  22. Martha in CF

    Graham needs to be block from ever being elected again!!!!!!

    October 29, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. Eric

    Graham is running against a tea party winger in the Republican primary, so he has to show those folks that he can block the government from functioning properly just as well as they can.

    I agree with those who have questioned why Graham and other Republicans didn't have anywhere near as much interest in unveiling the truth when Bush was in the White House and we were fighting wars based on inaccurate (perhaps even deceitful) information. I guess truthful information coming from the White House is only important when the occupant is from the other party.

    October 29, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. lsterne

    It is ridiculous but any one Senator can put a personal "hold" on any nomination and hold it up indefinitely, just as the minority party can, with only 41%, can obstruct the will of the majority and prevent consideration of any legislation.
    Why does the Senate continue to tolerate these absurd and archaic rules?
    Our country is rapidly losing its ability for self government. If we do, what next?

    October 29, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. Jimmy

    Bush lied about the WMD....really?
    The Brits, the French, the Russian thought that as well.
    Did they lie as well?
    Saddam used WMD on his own people, thinking he still had them was reasonable.
    If you were the POTUS would you have taken the risk he still had them?
    Get real!
    I guess people lied when they thought the Earth was flat too?

    October 29, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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