On Friday, House Speaker John Boehner officially announced the establishment a select committee dedicated to investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya and subsequent government response.
“The House committees that have been investigating this attack have done extraordinary work, using their subpoena power, holding dozens of hearings, and conducting hundreds of interviews. Without this work we would not know much that we do today. But it’s clear that questions remain, and the administration still does not respect the authority of Congress to provide proper oversight,” Boehner said in a statement announcing the committee. “This dismissiveness and evasion requires us to elevate the investigation to a new level. I intend for this select committee to have robust authority, and I will expect it to work quickly to get answers for the American people and the families of the victims.”
Boehner’s decision comes on the heels of newly released emails showing White House officials coordinating with former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice about talking points following the attacks. Rice was urged to attribute the attacks, which left four people dead, to an internet video about the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. Those talking points have long been a point of contention for House Republicans who have been investigating whether the State Department downplayed terrorist ties to the attacks.
“The administration’s withholding of documents — emails showing greater White House involvement in misleading the American people — is a flagrant violation of trust and undermines the basic principles of oversight upon which our system of government is built,” Boehner said. “And it forces us to ask the question, what else about Benghazi is the Obama administration still hiding from the American people?”
The announcement of the committee also comes after House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa issued a subpoena to Secretary of State John Kerry Friday demanding him to testify at a public hearing about Benghazi May 21. Neither the State Department or the White House immediately responded to requests for comment from Business Insider.
“Four Americans died at the hands of terrorists nearly 20 months ago, and we are still missing answers, accountability, and justice. It’s time that change,” said Boehner.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.