By Ramsey Cox
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) chided Republicans Tuesday for conducting a “political witch hunt” by requesting a Senate select committee to investigate the Benghazi terrorist attack.
“I urge Sen. [Harry] Reid to say a very clear 'no' to the request by 37 Republicans that we create a new Senate select committee on Benghazi,” Boxer said on the Senate floor. “We don’t need to spend money on another committee because someone is afraid of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.”
Boxer, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said House Republicans’ formation of a select committee was a “political witch hunt” designed to rally support ahead of the November mid-term elections and damage a potential presidential candidate.
“To spend the funds for this separate committee in addition to the House committee doesn’t make sense unless you believe, as I do, that this is just a political witch hunt,” Boxer said. “This is a campaign tactic to gin up their base. We know Republicans have been actively fundraising off this tragedy.”
On Sept. 11, 2012, terrorists who attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killed four Americans. Boxer pointed out that then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the first person to call for an independent investigation. That report concluded that budget cuts were partially to blame for the lack of security at the consulate.
“How about reading what we already have — stacks and stacks of information,” Boxer said pointing to nearly a dozen binders of reports on the attack. “But you’re not going to see an investigation into why Republicans thought it was wise to cut embassy funding. … We know what happened. It was a terrorist attack on a facility that needed more security.”
Republicans have renewed their calls for a congressional investigation after emails from a White House communications adviser were released suggesting that the attack was by protesters instead of terrorists. The administration backed away from that initial claim shortly after the attack but Republicans said it was an attempt to hide the truth ahead of President Obama’s reelection.