GOP senators want new Select Committee to investigate Benghazi attack

Three Republican senators are calling for the formation of a new Select Committee to investigate the Sept. 11 Benghazi, Libya, attack.

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urging the creation of the new committee.

The senators proposed having one committee investigate the attack rather than the multiple committees doing so now because the investigations cut across multiple federal agencies.

“Several different committees of jurisdiction in both the House and the Senate are currently holding briefings, planning hearings and reviewing portions of this case,” the senators wrote.

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“However, we believe that the complexity and gravity of this matter warrants the establishment of a temporary Select Committee that can conduct an integrated review of the many national security issues involved,” they said.

There are a half-dozen congressional committees in the House and Senate investigating the attack in Benghazi, in which U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

But one committee that has not launched an investigation is the Senate Armed Services Committee. All three senators sit on that committee and McCain is its ranking member.

McCain, Graham and Ayotte sent a letter to Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) on Friday, calling on him to hold hearings on Libya. Levin has not yet planned any hearings or investigations, and he did not respond publicly to the letter on Friday.

The senators have sent out multiple letters themselves asking administration officials to provide information about the attack and the Obama administration’s shifting descriptions of the cause of the attack.

They have also expressed frustration that their letters have gone unanswered, and would likely have more leverage if they were part of a Select Committee investigating the attack.