A member of the House panel investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi implored the State Department to turn over documents related to the investigation from the House floor on Thursday.

Rep. Lynn WestmorelandLeon (Lynn) Acton WestmorelandEconomy and health intertwined in the fight against coronavirus Juan Williams: GOP to blame for civility's breakdown Veteran GOP lawmaker Westmoreland to retire MORE (R-Ga.) claimed that the State Department has been stonewalling the House Select Committee on Benghazi's investigation. Republicans on the committee have demanded that the State Department turn over emails on a private server used by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhat Senate Republicans have said about election-year Supreme Court vacancies Bipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death Trump carries on with rally, unaware of Ginsburg's death MORE while she led the agency.

Republicans on the committee have demanded that the State Department turn over emails on a private server used by Hillary Clinton while she led the agency.

The Obama administration has said, however, the process is taking longer than expected and may not be completed until January 2016.


"We have done everything we know to do to get these documents so we can finish this investigation," Westmoreland said. "The only thing holding us up from getting a definitive report of those actions before, during and after those attacks is this executive branch and their Department of State."

"We are begging them. And as we have said before, we've moved an inch, we've moved a foot, we've moved a yard, we've moved a mile and they have not moved one iota," Westmoreland said.

The Georgia Republican last week said the State Department tried to stall when members of the Benghazi Committee requested a meeting to see how State searched for anything related to the attack in Hillary Clinton's emails when she served as Secretary.

"Last week, we continued the pressure. We told the Department that members of the committee, including myself, would travel to the State Department to view firsthand how they searched for documents and have a discussion about the shortcomings they claim to have," Westmoreland said.

"But what did the Department do when we told them we were coming? They scrambled and did everything possible to deter our visit," he continued.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the top Democrat on the Benghazi panel, said Republicans are to blame for the investigation's delays because they waited for months before requesting new documents from State.

"Today’s public show is yet another example of the Republican effort to place blame on everyone but themselves for their needless delay in concluding this eighth congressional investigation into the Benghazi attacks," Cummings said in a statement.

Cummings added that, even though more than a year has passed since the Benghazi committee's creation, "we still have not found a scrap of evidence to support claims Secretary Clinton ordered a stand-down, approved an illicit weapons program, or any of the other wild allegations that Republicans have been making about her for years."

Clinton said this week while on the campaign trail that she wants the State Department to release the emails as quickly as possible.

"Nobody has a bigger interest in getting them released than I do," Clinton told reporters.

Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has indicated the panel won't ask Clinton to testify until it has all the requested documents.

Some House Republicans may try to withhold funding from the State Department in the annual appropriations process unless administration officials produce the documents related to Benghazi.

— Updated at 4:18 p.m.