Oversight Committee Details Benghazi Investigation Obstruction to Select Committee

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued a press release today in conjunction with a letter sent by Chairman Darrell Issa to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.  It may be found at the committee’s website here.  The text of the release follows:

July 11th, 2014

Oversight Committee Details State Department Efforts to Obstruct Benghazi Investigation in 37 Page Letter to Select Committee

Oversight Letter Responds to Select Committee’s Request for Information

WASHINGTON – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) today, in a 37 page letter to House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy, detailed State Department efforts to obstruct the Congressional investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attacks.  “In response to your request, I am providing detailed background information regarding the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s outstanding Benghazi-related document requests to the Executive Branch, as well as the status of any Benghazi-related production and compliance issues,” wrote Issa to Gowdy.  “To be precise, the Department has not provided a full and complete response to two subpoenas, nor has the Department provided all documents responsive to many written requests.  Moreover, the Department used numerous tactics to obstruct this investigation.”

Among the topics covered in the 37 page letter covering the Oversight investigation from September 2012 until May 2014:

  • The Committee’s early attempts beginning in September 2012 to obtain voluntary cooperation from the Department
  • The Department’s repeated promises to cooperate, but continued failure to actually meet requests
  • The Department’s efforts to hide important documents behind a talking point that it had made 25,000 pages available
  • The Department’s wasteful efforts to cart documents in and out daily instead of turning them over to the Oversight Committee
  • The Committee’s eventual decision in 2013 to issue subpoenas
  • The State Department’s refusal to make all documents made available to and created by the Accountability Review Board (ARB) empanelled and selected by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
  • State Department threats to destroy Committee property necessary for internal organization of in camera documents
  • Abusive State Department document redaction practices
  • Department unwillingness to cooperatively make witnesses available
  • State Department efforts to selectively withhold and produce documents to support a pre-determined agency narrative
  • Efforts to use the Justice Department as excuse for non-cooperation
  • Possibly illegal efforts to retroactively classify documents to prevent their release

Click here to read to full 37 page letter to Select Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy outlining State Department obstruction efforts.