Congress only saw latest Benghazi e-mail two weeks ago

posted at 9:21 am on April 30, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday’s blockbuster release of a Ben Rhodes e-mail took the media by surprise yesterday, which had for months shrugged at demands to ask more questions about Benghazi. That was old news until the September 14, 2012 memo from the White House adviser surfaced, stipulating that Susan Rice’s appearances on news programs less than two days later had the goal of convincing people that the attack that killed four Americans was not brought on by “a broader failure of policy,” by stressing that “these protests are rooted in an Internet video.” The White House had insisted for almost a year that it had released all of the communications relating to the Rice talking points, both to Congress and the press.

Congress got surprised by this release as well. Eli Lake reports for the Daily Beast that the Oversight Committee, which has been probing Benghazi, only received this e-mail two weeks ago:

The Daily Beast has learned that these latest emails were only provided to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform two weeks ago, despite requests from the committee for such material that date back to August 2013.

“Even as Congressional Democrats were calling for an end to the Benghazi investigation with false claims that everything had been turned over and examined, the State Department was hiding this e-mail and other documents covered by the Committee’s August 2013 subpoena,” the committee’s deputy staff director, Frederick Hill told The Daily Beast.

Hill added, “It is disturbing that this highly important e-mail showing a White House role in pushing a false narrative was only turned over after it was discovered by the Department’s FOIA office in response to a specific request. While he had promised cooperation, by hiding subpoenaed documents from Congress, Secretary Kerry is failing to meet his legal obligations.”

Hill’s committee received the September 14 email from Rhodes in an April 17 letter from the State Department, along with other requested material. Of the congressional committees investigating Benghazi, the House Oversight Committee has received the least amount of cooperation from the Obama administration, in part because most of the staff and members of the committee lack the security clearances to view highly classified material like the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Why is this significant? The Daily Mail explains:

The newly released email, revealed under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, was not included in 100 documents that the White House released last May.

It is considered significant because in April, former CIA deputy director Michael Morell said Ms Rice had been the one to link to the video to the Benghazi attack during her appearance on Sunday TV shows.

The White House claimed that those talking points came from intelligence and not from their political side. Rhodes’ e-mail shows clearly that the opposite was true, and its connection to the presidential race is obvious. They must have known how this would look — why else hide it?

The bigger question is this: what else are they hiding? National Journal’s Ron Fournier wants more Congressional hearings to put Rhodes and other administration officials on the hot seat, while CNN’s John King demands “full transparency”:

“What are you hiding?”

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There was a time, not long ago, that if you crossed Congress you were in deep shiite and everyone in and around the Beltway KNEW THIS and would act accordingly.
Today we have mid-level government managers going before congress making excusatory statments then closing their yap and claiming Fifth Amendment rights before an investigative committee.
We have administration appointees (approved by the Senate mind you) that LIE over and over and instead of disbarment, sanction, and rejection they get PROMOTED.
And the Jourolist journalists just keep supporting the criminal enterprise that is TOTUS Obamugabe.
Get ready for November, if some corrections are not instituted THEN and carefully WATCHED by the Knowledgeable electorate for the last two years of King Putt … it might be over for this Grand Idea.

Missilengr on April 30, 2014 at 12:27 PM

John King nauseates.

Where has he been?

It has been patently obvious Obama and his tools were lying, yet CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, NYT, etc., ad nauseum have all been parroting the lies, doing no investigation, and mocking the congressional investigators Obama and his corrupt tools were stonewalling.

Why didn’t CNN or any of the others file FOIA’s and get to the bottom of these lies?

Nearly two years after the attack and the lies that began immediately thereafter, the MSM is finally being forced to cover the story by the exposure of the truth resulting from the investigation done by Judicial Watch.

We’re only scratching the surface of the corruption and lies of the Obama administration. The MSM will do little or nothing to investigate and will cover only the facts groups like Judicial Watch expose that break into the narrative despite all their efforts to ignore the truth.

novaculus on April 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM

while CNN’s John King demands “full transparency”:

*snort* Excuse me.

Cindy Munford on April 30, 2014 at 12:57 PM

If a bombshell email goes off without any MSM reporting it does it make a noise? I may be cynical but I think we will see 3 more days of Sterling, but no Benghazi or .1% GDP growth reporting. But that’s just me.

warmairfan on April 30, 2014 at 12:58 PM

The Daily Beast has learned that these latest emails were only provided to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform two weeks ago, despite requests from the committee for such material that date back to August 2013.

Actually, what I heard on Fox’s Special Report last night was that these emails were provided by Judicial Watch or some other outside organization that got them through a court ordered FOI release, and then gave them to the committee. The administration only gave the committee heavily redacted copies which is why they didn’t know what was in it.

So where are the RICO charges for this conspiracy to cover up the scandal? Where are the arrest warrants and criminal charges? Where is the accountability?

earlgrey on April 30, 2014 at 1:30 PM

That this was not released until now is disturbing, though the fact that it was released suggests that there’s no systematic cover-up under way.

The contents — routine talking points suggesting the Rice put the best face on a bad situation — are routine and I revealing. There is no suggestion at all that Rice, Rhodes or anyone else in the loop thought the situation was other than described: the result of the video.

It’s a nothing burger.

urban elitist on April 30, 2014 at 10:06 AM

First time I have ever written this: ROFLMAO!

ricoliv on April 30, 2014 at 2:27 PM

earlgrey on April 30, 2014 at 1:30 PM


d1carter on April 30, 2014 at 2:29 PM

It’s like another Warren Report.

mixplix on April 30, 2014 at 4:22 PM

“While he had promised cooperation, by hiding subpoenaed documents from Congress, Secretary Kerry is failing to meet his legal obligations.”

And? And? Bueller? Bueller?

PersonFromPorlock on April 30, 2014 at 8:22 PM

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