Graham will 'make life difficult' in Senate if denied Benghazi attack survivors

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has vowed to "make life difficult" for the administration's allies in the Senate if his demands to gain access to the survivors of last September's terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, fall on deaf ears in the White House. 

“If we do not have these survivors come forward in an appropriate way, I will continue to make life difficult in the Senate," Graham said during a Friday interview on Fox News regarding ongoing Republican efforts to get more information about the Benghazi attack. 

The South Carolina Republican is drafting a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, demanding access to the survivors. 

He is also requesting the FBI files of their accounts of last September's attack, "to see what they said" and how it was possibly used to draft the administration's now infamous initial talking points on the terrorist strike. 

House Republicans, led by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), have also demanded access to the Benghazi survivors and renewed calls for a congressional select committee to look into the attack and the subsequent response from the Pentagon and White House. 

Graham, Wolf and other congressional Republicans are threatening to subpoena the survivors if the Obama administration does not allow Congress access. 

"The bottom line is they feel that they can't come forth, they've been told to be quiet," the South Carolina Republican said regarding the Benghazi survivors. 

Graham said he has spoken with some of the survivors already, noting their accounts of the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were "chilling." 

Some of the survivors have returned back to their government jobs, while some are still recuperating from the injuries suffered during the attack. 

"It's important they come forward to tell their story," he said Friday. "The best evidence of what happened in Benghazi is not a bunch of politicians in Washington trying to cover their political ass." 

Democrats say Republicans are simply looking for any avenue to score political points.

“Benghazi is over and done with,” Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), a senior member on the Intelligence Committee, told The Hill. “As far as [Republicans] are concerned ... this has always been a political issue and that is the way they will continue to [pursue] it.”

Shortly after last September's attack in Libya, White House officials issued statements the strike was the result of an anti-American protest against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi taking a violent turn. 

Only weeks later did the Obama administration acknowledge the strike was a planned, coordinated attack by Islamic extremist groups in the country.

More in Blog Briefing Room

NSA chief: Paris-style attack 'makes life a lot harder'

Read more »