FIRST ON CNN: New FBI director to face GOP heat for Benghazi investigation
July 31st, 2013
06:30 AM ET
9 years ago

FIRST ON CNN: New FBI director to face GOP heat for Benghazi investigation

Washington (CNN) - Labeling the Obama administration's investigation of the September 2012 Benghazi attacks "simply unacceptable," eight Republican lawmakers are demanding more aggressive steps from the new FBI Director James Comey and asking that he brief Congress within 30 days.

"It has been more than 10 months since the attacks," the GOP lawmakers said in a draft of a letter to Comey obtained by CNN. "We appear to be no closer to knowing who was responsible today than we were in the early weeks following the attack. This is simply unacceptable."

The letter was initiated by GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, two of the fiercest critics of the administration's Benghazi response. Others who have agreed to sign the missive to Comey include Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. On the House side, GOP Reps. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the committee leading the House Benghazi investigation, Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and Jim Jordan of Ohio, signed the letter.

The eight GOP lawmakers signed off on the text of the letter late Tuesday, and planned to send it to Director Comey on Wednesday or Thursday, according to GOP sources who provided the draft to CNN on condition of anonymity because the final timing decision has not been made.

"Rumors continue to swirl about the whereabouts of suspects involved in the attack," the lawmakers write in their letter to Comey, who was just confirmed to replace Robert Mueller as FBI director. "The FBI continues to add pictures of potential assailants to its website and asks the Libyan people to assist with identifying the alleged perpetrators. We struggle to understand why we don’t know more about those who attacked two U.S. compounds and murdered four brave Americans. "

Among those identified as a suspect or person of high interest from the hours after the Sept. 11, 2012 attack – by both U.S. and Libyan officials – is Ahmed Abu Khattalah, a leader of the Islamist organization Ansar al-Sharia. But in a recent conversation with CNN's Arwa Damon, Khattalah acknowledged being at the U.S. diplomatic mission after the attack but denied any involvement. In that conversation – in Benghazi – Khattalah told CNN he has not been questioned by either Libyan authorities or the FBI.

In their letter, the lawmakers write, "We encourage you to be aggressive in your investigation to properly hold accountable those who attacked our compounds in Benghazi. We owe the families of those killed, and the people of this nation, answers to who was responsible and ensure they are held accountable."

Filed under: Congress • FBI • James Comey • Libya
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. onlyfacts

    It only take simple logic to understand, you can't just send FBI agents into Libya to knock on doors and question people on the streets. Where are they going to stay, the Holiday Inn? These agents have to rely on informants who aren't very credible or willing to share information. So when these Christian GOP "saints" say they just don't understand why the investigation is taking so long, it is obvious to someone with a brain (this rules you out Rick McDaniel) that they are flat out lying. This is simple logic, something Republican voters have no concept of, that is why they are Republican, logic is incomprehensible, and facts
    are not necessary, and hate fuels their ego!

    July 31, 2013 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  2. g

    its not the first embassy to be attacked and is not the last

    July 31, 2013 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  3. Toony Pasta

    Enough is enough, where was Obama and Hillary at THREE A.M.? And it does matter how they died! Fast movers could have made it! The three card monty tyrant and his corrupt windy fecal matter corrupt city of Shicago-t

    July 31, 2013 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  4. S. B. Stein

    They are still going after that? I find this an attempt to attack the president at all chances with little basis in fact.

    July 31, 2013 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  5. syntnw

    Do republiclowns have any original thoughts on how to help America or just destroy it for Americans?

    July 31, 2013 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  6. Southeast

    If congress work on the job bill as hard as this we would have plenty of jobs, another distraction.

    July 31, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  7. Southeast

    Let's get rid of them all.

    July 31, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  8. Al-NY,NY

    the GOP is STILL trying to milk this. Everyone with working brain matter know that they will never accept explanations for it and will keep this open in an attempt to hurt Obama and Hillary before she stomps their candidate in 2016

    July 31, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  9. bassman

    If Benghazi had happened under a Republican administration CNN's headline would have been New FBI director to face media (not GOP) heat for Benghazi investigation.

    July 31, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    During Pres. Obama's first term, the GOTP strategy was to make him out to be a failure through obstruction. It would appear that the GOTP obstructino strategy during the second term is going add in "scandal-gate." This attack on Comey is just the opening salvo in what will be a never ending parade of one manufactured scandal after another.

    July 31, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  11. Evergreen

    Ten months later the GOP is finally focusing on finding those who attacked and killed the ambassador and his aids.

    July 31, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  12. RIchard Long

    Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi...
    For the last time: It was a handful of demonstrators that were protesting the YouTube movie!
    – Obama stood by that statement
    – Hillary stood by that statement
    Obama didn;t have to miss his campaigning in Vegas.
    Game. Set. Match.

    July 31, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  13. quinLee

    like a one string guitar playing the same note for every song.

    July 31, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  14. Boo

    Here we go again....I'm still waiting for the answers to the LIES about the Iraq war. Anyone one who votes for any of these arrogant politicians in the GOP SHOULD HAVE THEIR HEADS EXAMINED.

    July 31, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  15. 2Km N of GZero

    I guess the Republicans still can't find anyone to run against Hillary, so it's back to "All Benghazi all the time."
    I wish they were this concerned about the many other Americans being killed in politically unimportant areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

    July 31, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  16. Dennis Freeman

    Blah, blah, blah...boring. Where are the jobs?

    July 31, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |