(CNN) – Sen. Dianne Feinstein had some biting words Sunday about the newly formed House select committee to investigate the deadly 2012 terror attack against a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.
“I think it's ridiculous,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think it's a hunting mission for a lynch mob.”
The Republican-controlled House approved the committee earlier this month. Despite several investigations into the attack, which left four Americans dead, Republicans argue there are still unanswered questions about the assault.
The issue is also being used as political ammunition against Hillary Clinton, who’s considering a 2016 presidential bid and was running the State Department at the time of the terror attack.
Feinstein on Sunday pointed to multiple reports, including one released by her own committee — the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence — earlier this year. The report found that the attack was "likely preventable" based on known security shortfalls and prior warnings that the security situation there was deteriorating.
“We spent a year and a half on a report. We held hearings. Thousands of pages were reviewed. The staff spent hours and weeks on it,” Feinstein told CNN’s chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.
She also noted the 2013 independent review by an Accountability Review Board, which found "systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies" in the lead-up to the attack. Four State Department officials were immediately disciplined.
Asked whether she thinks all the questions about Benghazi have been answered, Feinstein said, “I believe they have.”
“Our report was bipartisan,” she said. “They were certainly answered to the satisfaction of the intelligence committee.”
Former Vice President Dick Cheney, however, said Sunday that Clinton needs to be held accountable for the attack.
“I think she clearly bears responsibility for whatever the State Department did or didn't do with respect to that crisis,” the Republican said Sunday on Fox News. “I do think it's a major issue. I don't think we've heard the last of it yet. And I would expect that she will be held accountable during the course of the campaign.”
Benghazi, she said in January, "illustrated one of the biggest problems that I faced as secretary of state: We have a lot of dangerous locations where we send not our military, but our civilians. And they go in, they have language skills often, they try to assess what is going on in the area, but they are vulnerable."
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