GOP senators press resolution for Benghazi Select Committee

Three Republican senators are introducing a resolution to establish a Select Committee on the attack in Benghazi, Libya, which they say is the only way for the truth about what happened to emerge.

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said at a press conference Wednesday that the attack on the U.S. Consulate that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans cut across the jurisdictions of the Armed Services, Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees, and that a Select Committee was necessary to talk to administration officials in all three agencies.

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That included former CIA Director David Petraeus, who has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed session on Benghazi.

“I’d like to ask General Petraeus some questions,” Graham said.

McCain said that Petraeus would be a “very important witness for a Select Committee.”

The three senators, who all sit on the Armed Services Committee, first raised the idea of a Select Committee earlier this month, and are officially introducing a resolution for its formation Wednesday.



Graham suggested there was a precedent for establishing such a committee, comparing it to past committees established for Watergate and Iran-Contra.


The senators said that the administration’s own internal examination of the Benghazi incident was not sufficient.

McCain said that “it’s very clear” there will be some resistance to the idea.

“The party in power never likes to have a Select Committee, but I’m hopeful the American people will demand it,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday he did not support forming a Select Committee, according to reports.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) was also cool on the idea, saying he wanted to first see what the committees themselves discovered before deciding if a Select Committee was needed.

In addition to Petraeus, the senators said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would also be likely witnesses.