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Nixonian cover up charges hit Justice's CIA, Benghazi probes

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

The Justice Department's muddled probe of the Benghazi, Libya embassy attack, now caught up in the FBI's investigation of the CIA sex scandal, was compared Wednesday to Richard Nixon's Watergate cover up by a lawmaker seeking a select House committee to look into the issues.

"There are serious questions surrounding the Justice Department's integrity, similar to those raised during the second term of the Nixon administration," said Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf in a letter to Speaker John Boehner seeking a select committee to investigate the issues.

Wolf said Justice and the administration have cancelled multiple briefings on the Benghazi attack, blamed by some on poor intelligence from the CIA. He also said that the FBI's probe into the sex scandal of former CIA Director David Petraeus, whose ex-mistress dished details on the Libyan attack, raises questions of political manipulation by Justice to mute the dual scandals until after the election.

In his letter to Boehner provided to Secrets, Wolf wrote, "The revelations surrounding the FBI's investigation of CIA Director Petraeus raise even more questions, especially given the CIA's central role in the Benghazi attack. It has been reported that Attorney General Holder knew about this investigation for months but chose not to disclose it until after the presidential election - yet another example of Mr. Holder's politicized leadership of the Justice Department."

Below is Wolf's letter:

The Honorable John Boehner

Speaker of the House

U.S. House of Representatives

H-232 The Capitol

INSIDE MAIL

Dear Mr. Speaker,

In light of the ongoing revelations stemming from the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) annex in Benghazi, Libya, I ask that you immediately establish a House or bicameral Select Committee on the Terrorist Attack in Benghazi.

Given that this incident and subsequent disclosures involves the CIA, State Department, Defense Department, Justice Department and the White House, I believe the select committee should be comprised of the chairmen and ranking members of the committees on Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, Judiciary and Government Reform and Oversight. Other members could also be appointed at the discretion of House leadership based on expertise. A House or bicameral select committee will prevent the overlap of multiple investigations and hearings, and must have full subpoena authority.

The Congress has an obligation to fully investigate this attack in order to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities as it does its legislative work, particularly when it comes to national security and defending the homeland. It also has a responsibility to educate the American people on the circumstances surrounding the attack, which led to the death of four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador. Basic questions remain unanswered, and when additional information has been released, much of it has been through the media. The White House has repeatedly canceled scheduled briefings and, to date, has not provided the chairmen of national security committees and subcommittees that wrote the president on September 25 the additional information requested regarding the attack and the administration's response.

The revelations surrounding the FBI's investigation of CIA Director Petraeus raise even more questions, especially given the CIA's central role in the Benghazi attack. It has been reported that Attorney General Holder knew about this investigation for months but chose not to disclose it until after the presidential election - yet another example of Mr. Holder's politicized leadership of the Justice Department. There are serious questions surrounding this Justice Department's integrity, similar to those raised during the second term of the Nixon Administration.

Too many questions remain surrounding the Benghazi attack and response, and the questions seem to grow by the day. The Congress has a responsibility to the families of the victims of this terrorist attack, and the American people, to fully investigate this tragedy.

Sincerely,

Frank R. Wolf

Member of Congress