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 McCainJohn Sidney McCainMellman: Memories may be beautiful, yet… Schumer to oppose Pompeo as secretary of State Arizona GOP blocked from changing rules on filling McCain's seat MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP anxiety grows over Trump’s Iran decision Overnight Cybersecurity: Senators eye path forward on election security bill | Facebook isn't winning over privacy advocates | New hacks target health care Paul backs Pompeo, clearing path for confirmation MORE (R-S.C.) and Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteThe Hill's Morning Report: Koch Network re-evaluating midterm strategy amid frustrations with GOP Audit finds US Defense Department wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars US sends A-10 squadron to Afghanistan for first time in three years MORE (R-N.H.) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidLobbying world Senators fume over fight to change rules for Trump's nominees After Dems stood against Pompeo, Senate’s confirmation process needs a revamp MORE (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense: VA nominee on the ropes | White House signals it will fight for pick | Trump talks Syria with Macron | McConnell tees up Pompeo vote Schumer to oppose Pompeo as secretary of State Trump's nominee for the VA is on the ropes MORE (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 LevinCarl Milton LevinSen. Gillibrand, eyeing 2020 bid, rankles some Democrats The Hill's 12:30 Report Congress needs bipartisanship to fully investigate Russian influence MORE (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.