For months now, Republican lawmakers have been wondering about the status of the survivors of last September’s terrorist attack in Benghazi that resulted in the death of four Americans, and why it is that Congress has not been afforded more access to them. In March, Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested that the Obama administration was engaged in specifically blocking access to these witnesses, and that the witnesses had even been told to “keep quiet” — a notion that the administration blithely dismissed and Democrats once more pooh-poohed as the mere partisan pish-tosh of those petty Republicans.
The latest update from Fox News, however, reports that at least four career officials from the State Department and CIA are lawyering up as they prepare to provide “sensitive” information about the Benghazi attack to Congress, and that Obama administration officials have served some of these witnesses with not-so-subtle hints about the consequences of coming forward: Nice career you’ve got there. Shame if anything were to happen to it.
Victoria Toensing, a former Justice Department official and Republican counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, is now representing one of the State Department employees. She told Fox News her client and some of the others, who consider themselves whistle-blowers, have been threatened by unnamed Obama administration officials.
“I’m not talking generally, I’m talking specifically about Benghazi – that people have been threatened,” Toensing said in an interview Monday. “And not just the State Department. People have been threatened at the CIA.” …
“It’s frightening, and they’re doing some very despicable threats to people,” she said. “Not ‘we’re going to kill you,’ or not ‘we’re going to prosecute you tomorrow,’ but they’re taking career people and making them well aware that their careers will be over [if they cooperate with congressional investigators].” …
Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican from California who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday to complain that the department has not provided a process by which attorneys like Toensing can receive the security clearances necessary for them to review classified documents and other key evidence.
Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy said on Sunday that more Benghazi hearings are coming in short order — and that he thinks they’re likely showcase some “explosive” revelations (if, that is, the media should condescend to take notice in any other capacity than the ever-dismissive, “My, these Republicans are certainly determined to discredit Hillary Clinton!”):
“There are more Benghazi hearings coming; I think they’re going to be explosive,” Mr. Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican who is a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Fox’s Uma Pemmaraju.
Mr. Gowdy wasn’t able to give out too many details, but he hinted that the public for the first time might hear from witnesses to the terror attack that left four Americans dead. …
Mr. Gowdy added that in a trial, “direct evidence, direct testimony by eyewitnesses is always the most compelling.”
“Trust me when I tell you you will want to follow the hearings that are coming up,” he reiterated.