Cummings Issues Statement on Partisan Republican Staff Report: Releases New Info on “Top Ten Unfounded Allegations on Benghazi”
Washington, DC— Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement regarding the latest in a series of partisan Republican staff reports released by Committee Chairman Darrell Issa about the attacks in Benghazi. After making repeated unsubstantiated accusations against the Pentagon and the State Department, this latest report purports to find fault with the Accountability Review Board (ARB) that was established to make security recommendations after the attacks.
“This Republican report is not an official Committee report, but rather a completely partisan staff report that the Chairman apparently didn’t want Committee Members to see before he leaked it to the press. Rather than focusing on the reforms recommended by the ARB, Republicans have politicized the investigation by engaging in a systematic effort to launch unsubstantiated accusations against the Pentagon, the State Department, the President, and now the ARB itself.
“The goal of the ARB was to find answers about how and why four American heroes were killed in Benghazi and to honor their memories by recommending concrete reforms. Based on numerous interviews conducted by the Oversight Committee, it is now clear that the ARB fulfilled this mission by conducting one of the most comprehensive reviews in history—interviewing more than 100 people, reviewing thousands of pages of documents, and viewing hours of video.
“Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen are respected public servants who dedicated their lives to this country, and accusations that they engaged in a ‘cover-up’ at Secretary Clinton’s bidding are completely unfounded. I look forward to hearing from them this week at a public hearing where they can finally address these accusations directly, and I hope Republicans will finally join us in an effort to ensure the full implementation of recommendations to improve security for our entire diplomatic corps serving overseas.”
Also today, Cummings’ office released a report entitled “Fact v. Fiction: Top Ten Unfounded Allegations About the Attacks in Benghazi,” which includes new excerpts from transcripts of interviews conducted by Committee staff over the past several months and debunks some of the most extreme unsubstantiated allegations made by Republicans over the course of the investigation.
Cummings’ office also released a previously undisclosed letter from the State Department to Chairman Issa explaining that the four employees referenced in the ARB report have been stripped of all duties involving worldwide security, and that the Department is “permanently relieving them of the positions and duties that gave rise to the ARB’s findings.”