The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday blasted Republicans for using a committee report on the Benghazi attacks for “political purposes” and in particular for what she termed unfair criticism of presumed 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., noted that the bipartisan report released this week on the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in Libya did not mention Clinton even once.
“I regret that the ‘Additional Views’ of the report adopted solely by six members of the Republican minority unfairly criticizes Secretary Clinton,” Feinstein said in a statement. “I want the record to be clear: I condemn any effort to use this report for political purposes.
Nothing in the bipartisan report, Feinstein said, assigned any blame for the attacks to Clinton, who was secretary of State at the time.
“Ultimately… the final responsibility for security at diplomatic facilities lies with the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton,” said the "Additional Views" approved only by Republicans. “We believe there should be a full examination of her role in these events, including on the night of the attacks.”
The bipartisan portions of the Senate report, which was released Wednesday, found that the attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi were preventable, and that there was adequate intelligence to indicate a deteriorating security situation.
“Our responsibility throughout this review was to focus on the intelligence,” Feinstein said. “The report finds the attacks were preventable, based on extensive intelligence reporting on terrorist activity in Eastern Libya and given known security shortfalls at the U.S. Mission.”
The 2012 attacks led to the death of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.