Panetta, Clinton could testify in Benghazi ‘Watergate’ panel
Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee called Wednesday for the formation of special joint select committee to investigate Benghazi, like that assembled to probe the Nixon-era Watergate scandal.
Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) told reporters that the efforts of the Senate Armed Services, Intelligence, and Foreign Relations committees should be combined in order to share information more fully.
So far, House and Senate Intelligence Committees have closed-door hearings planned on Benghazi for Thursday, while the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has also received a separate closed briefing.
“Three important committees of this body have very clear jurisdiction over this,” Ayotte said.
Graham said he approved of former CIA Director David Petraeus’s announcement that he would testify before the Intelligence committees, despite his sudden resignation last Friday, but he said the Armed Services Committee had another list of names they planned to call: former head of Africa Command Gen. Carter Ham, whose resignation and retirement was announced shortly following the Benghazi attacks, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
“The problem is that the three committees will not be able to hear what the other groups are saying,” he said. “I’d like to ask Gen. Petraeus some questions, and I’m sure there are people on the Intel Committee who would like to hear what the Department of Defense has to say about their handling of the Benghazi attack. And when it comes to the State Department,all of us would like to know why there were so many additional requests for security denied.”
McCain said more requests for testimony could be forthcoming.
“We want to probe everyone involved, all the way up to the president of the United States,” he said.
The Senators plan to introduce a resolution to form the select committee on the Senate floor this afternoon.