McCaul blasts trial of Benghazi suspect

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) on Sunday criticized the Obama administration for prosecuting Benghazi suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala in a criminal court.

“My concern with this whole scenario is … rather than prosecuting a war, we're prosecuting criminal cases,” McCaul said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

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Abu Khattala, a suspected Libyan ringleader of the 2012 Benghazi attack, pleaded not guilty Saturday to a conspiracy charge in a brief appearance in federal court in Washington, D.C.

“When we rushed to interrogate and rushed to Mirandize, we lose valuable intelligence in terms of, ‘Who were the other suspects involved in Benghazi? Were there other threats to not only Americans in the region, but also to the homeland?’ ”

McCaul said Abu Khattala’s military intelligence value should have taken precedence, adding that he should have been taken to Guantánamo Bay as a war criminal.

“We have brought a foreign terrorist and given him due process rights under our Constitution here in the United States, right down the street from where you and I are in the nation's capital. I don't think that's the right approach in prosecuting the war on terrorism,” he added.

McCaul called the delay in apprehending Abu Khattala “shameful.”

“We have 12 other indictments, 12 other suspects out there, that I think the target list was made two weeks after Benghazi. Yet, we've failed to move on that because we're so intent on building a criminal prosecution.”