Top House Democrat calls on Boehner to retract Benghazi report, apologize to Clinton
April 25th, 2013
08:50 PM ET
7 years ago

Top House Democrat calls on Boehner to retract Benghazi report, apologize to Clinton

(CNN) - A senior House Democrat wants Republicans to retract a report claiming that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally signed off on security cuts at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, which later was targeted in a deadly terror attack.

Republicans argued the conclusion, released this week, contradicted her congressional testimony on the matter, which was the subject of intense scrutiny.

Maryland Rep Elijah Cummings, the senior Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the GOP finding was false and lacked a basic understanding of State Department procedure.

The Republican report by the chairs of five congressional committees cites a request from then-U.S. Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz last March 28 to Clinton asking for additional security resources, and a response on April 19 turning down the request that the report says bears Clinton's signature.

In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday, Cummings said his staff reviewed the cable in question and said it does not show Clinton’s signature.

He said Clinton's name was typed on it like thousands of other cables sent from the State Department every year.

"Although a telephone call could have clarified this issue in a matter of moments, you chose not to check with the (State) Department before making these highly inflammatory and erroneous accusations in a public forum," Cummings wrote in his letter.

"The allegations in your staff report are false, extremely irresponsible, and lack even a rudimentary understanding of how State Department cables are processed," Cummings added.

He demanded that Boehner apologize to Clinton on behalf of House Republicans.

Boehner's office wouldn’t comment on Cummings letter.

A spokesperson for Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, one of the GOP leaders who drafted the report, backed its finding.

"The document itself states ‘signature’ next to Clinton’s name. This cable shows that resource denial decisions did not just occur informally – in phone conversations and e-mails amongst less senior officials – but were actually run up the chain of command and made through supervised Department processes sanctioned under the Secretary’s authority."

The September 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

The chairs of the Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Judiciary committees also worked on the report.

The authors have asked the Obama administration to make the cable public.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Libya
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    Has it occurred to the GOP knuckle-drappers in here that a report that the GOP members of the committee signed off on MIGHT look like nothing more than a PR stunt? It provides no new information or insights, but it serves one purpose: to wound the person on the Democratic side who poses the biggest political threat to them in 2016. The fact is that, beyond firing up the base, what does it accomplish? The answer is, nothing. Par for the course from the people who cut the budget for embassy security around the world, and refused to appropriate the money when asked.

    April 26, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  2. Jules

    Typical – if the GOP doesn't like the truth, they just make something up.

    April 26, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  3. superbole

    Frankly – the only guys that I know who blathering on about Benghazi are politicians and the whacko down the street who denies that Obama is an American citizen. Birds of a feather...

    April 26, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  4. superbole

    YO – GOP... the sequester isn't working out for you either. Now we really have a clear picture of what the US would be like if the GOP ran both houses and the WH – austerity budgets that makes planes fly late, denies adequate security to embassies, and lets bombers bomb our cities.

    GOP and supporters – heads up, kiddie. You think the REST of the country isn't keeping track? Think again.

    April 26, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  5. Ed1

    Why the truth hurts doesn't it.

    April 26, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  6. fiverrules

    Hillary's name next to a declarative of Signature: is meaningless? Ok democrats got it. Its routine for her name be printed on most DOS cables of course except the ones that deal with Benghazi security during Stevens tenure. Funding? ARB says Benghazi funding not a cause. Not prioritizing what will always be a limited amount of funding to the area's that pose the highest risk and further refusing security funded out of the DOD budget is totally expected from anybody in Hilary position . Absolutely, pointing out the incompetence and/or gun running to the "friendly" AL-queda rebel fighters is totally political.

    April 26, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  7. vic , nashville ,tn

    I think GOP gave up 2016 because GOP digging their own grave going after Clintons

    April 26, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  8. fiverrules

    So Hilliary's name next to the declarative of SIGNATURE is meaningless. Got it!. Its routine for her name to be printed on cables except of course the ones dealing with Benghazi security during Stevens Tenure. Funding? So everything in the ARB which "exonerates" Hillary as only being in charge of a department with systemic management failures resulting in the death of employees is wrong about funding when it states funding was not an issue. Its really too much to expect the Head of DOS to prioritize spending to the high risk area's and accept security that was funded out of the DOD budget. It is all political to point out leadership incompetencies leading to the death of Americans and/or gun running to the "friendly" Al-Qaeda rebels.

    April 26, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  9. Patrick

    OK can we take the politics out of this and apply common sense. She is in charge of the State Department and the State Department screwed up. The people below her jumped on their swords knowing that they would be rewarded. She needs to admit that she was not an operational manager and therefore negligent in her role and move on. It won't hurt her to do so because nobody seems to care. The fact that they were clueless on 9/11 seems alarming to me. Hopefully Kerry will learn from this and be more engaged in the nuts and bolts of running the State Department.

    April 26, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  10. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Just more gop propaganda and bs, the same crap they have been doing for the last five years ,still doing the mcconnel script of making Obama a one term president ,visa what, you failed then and you will fail now . The gop has 0 credibility with the majority of American voters !!!!!

    April 26, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  11. Norma Vessels

    The House and the Senate make up Congress. Congress sees to the money. Congress has the responsibility of calling the shots on who gets money, and how much. Benghazi needed more security money. Congress cut down the money. Whether that had anything to do with the bombing, we don't know.

    April 26, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  12. quinLee

    I DID BUILD THAT.....oops sorry. I had a flashback.

    Question: What happens when there's no one left but the preacher and chior?

    April 26, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  13. Patrick in Wisconsin

    The GOP just need to drop this issue. The American people stopped giving a crap once they tried to turn this into a big cover-up conspiracy... as in only a day after it happened... when not even the State Department had all the details... They're simply digging their own grave with this non-issue.

    April 26, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota


    Frankly – the only guys that I know who blathering on about Benghazi are politicians and the whacko down the street who denies that Obama is an American citizen. Birds of a feather...

    Nicely put.

    April 26, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  15. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Issa, the gop bafoon has wasted millions of taxpayers dallars on meaningless hearings in the last several years while the gop morons preach about cutting the defict ,I guess the defict only applies to democrats. This worthless bum needs to be kicked out of office in his next elections .issa is nothing but a gop stooge and teaparty goof !!!!

    April 26, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  16. ghostriter

    Why should they apologize? They have spent the past 5 years throwing out false statement after false statement.

    Darrel Issa? The Fast and Furious guy who spend 2 years on hearings and came up with absolutely nothing? They guy screaming about Solyndra and held more hearings that came up with absolutely nothing? Benghazi must be his strike 3.

    April 26, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  17. ghostriter

    Patrick, the people haven't stopped caring as much as the people are tired of republicans calling hearings into everything and the hearings winding up as you mentioned a being a big conspiracy theory hunt. Since when do we just make public accusations without a shred of viable evidence?

    This has gotten way past funny. They actually had something to investigate with the Boston kids. But Graham had to go and get all political. They can't help themselves. They must, at all costs, find something to pin on this President.

    April 26, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  18. fiverrules

    Strange! Seems all who dislike to report are complaining about the report writers and not refuting the facts. Strange indeed. But No, no political motivation to attack the writers and not the facts. None at all.

    April 26, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  19. Tony

    @rick mcdaniels state dems can't stand to hear the truth.
    So what you are saying republican lies are all of a sudden truthful can anybody on this post recall any republiclowns in
    congress that told the truth in the past 30 years, its just lie after lie after lies according to the late senator Ted Kennedy.
    a bunch of men with no morals what so ever what a shame.

    April 26, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  20. ghostriter's already been discussed. Millions of cables go out with her name.....Her department, her responsibility of course. But that's not what's being questioned. Republicans are simply playing a game of gotcha. They are trying to say that she did personally sign off on the cable. And the proof is a cable, just like millions of others, that bear her name.

    Seriously, we had testimony from Condi Rice that Bush did in fact, read the memo that an attack was imminent. You fools didn't bother to investigate. Went into Iraq and found no WMD's. You fools didn't bother to investigate.

    And now you want a 3rd hearing on the latest unfounded accusations coming from republicans? Based on this?

    April 26, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  21. Wake up People!

    I'm curious as to why is this report just now surfacing? I would also like to know since when is a typed name considered a signature?

    I'm afraid Mrs. Clinton has a long wait ahead of her for an apology. Pigs will fly first.

    You have the fear of God in them Mrs. Clinton and that will just make them even more rabid.

    April 26, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    They can't help themselves. They must, at all costs, find something to pin on this President
    Correst ghostriter, but I will disagree with you on one thing: it was NEVER funny.

    April 26, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  23. VEW2012

    In a way the Republicans just keep digging that hole they are in deeper every time one of the fools open his mouths. If it isn't McPain, it is the Orangeman, Airhead Issa, Miserable Mitch, Lying Ryan, or Clueless Lindsey every day one of them puts his foot in his mouth.

    April 26, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  24. fiverrules

    Ghostriter The fact that people died & no changes made in DOS and Millions of cables go out with clintion's name next to the declarative of signature never read is not an issue worthy of investigation?. Blame or otherwise do you not think a pattern of behavior is important in preventing like incidents. Lets not find the root cause because it is being used by both sides politically. Really? Implying its been discussed is different than showing details of discussions.

    April 26, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  25. ghostriter

    Dominican, it is funny...if you can step away and enjoy the sheer irony. Like Rand Paul and his being against drone attacks on US citizens without a trial...and being for drone attacks on US citizens without a trial....based on which stance would be useful against the President at that particular time.

    I swear if Obama came out supporting sunlight, republicans would turn into vampires.

    April 26, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
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