Obama administration says GOP Benghazi subpoenas could 'jeopardize' FBI probe

“We understand that the Diplomatic Security law enforcement agents who performed heroically on September 11 are likely witnesses at any criminal proceedings relating to the Benghazi attacks, and that additional interviews of them outside of the criminal justice process could jeopardize those efforts to bring the terrorists to justice,” a State Department official told The Hill. “That said, the Department is not preventing any employees who wish to tell their story from doing so.”

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Issa accused the department of playing “hide and seek” with witnesses, and downplayed criticism that having them testify could harm law enforcement's efforts to bring to justice the Benghazi attackers.

The State Department “is now hiding behind a thinly-veiled statement that there is a criminal investigation into the terror attack,” Issa said.

Issa has accused the Obama administration of deliberately lying by linking the attack to a protest over an anti-Islam video ahead of last year's elections. Republicans believe witnesses to the attack will confirm there was never a protest and otherwise criticize security failings at the U.S. mission in Benghazi.

Law enforcement officials worry that on-the-record testimony could be used by defense attorneys for any alleged attackers to point out discrepancies among the witnesses. Obama administration officials have said that one wounded American remains in the hospital and four others are back on the job. 

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