POLITICS: White House

Rep. Jason Chaffetz: White House released ‘smidgeon’ of Benghazi emails — subpoena may be necessary

Politics,Beltway Confidential,White House,Joel Gehrke,Benghazi

Rep. Jason Chaffetz faulted President Obama’s team for releasing only “a small smidgeon” of 25,000 pages of documents about the Benghazi talking points, including one unclassified email that proves State Department leadership knew immediately that al Qaeda-linked terrorists were involved in the Benghazi attack.

“I know absolutely for total certainty this is but a small smidgeon,”  the Utah Republican told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren when asked about the 100 pages of documents that the White House released Wednesday.

The lawmaker called for the White House to release one email in particular, written to several senior State Department officials by Beth Jones, acting assistant secretary of state for Near-Eastern affairs, the day after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack.

“She says definitively that she told the Libyan ambassador that it was Ansar al Sharia, Islamic extremists, that committed this terrorist attack,” Chaffetz told Fox. “She doesn’t say terrorist attack, but she does say Ansar al Sharia, which has al Qaeda ties. Why doesn’t the White House — if it’s OK to release these hundred documents — release that one?”

Chaffetz said that the State Department would allow congressional investigators to read the emails only under the watchful eye of executive branch personnel — the investigators could not copy the documents for their private review.

“We could subpoena them,” he acknowledged when Van Susteren asked if that was a possibility. “We’re taking this one step at a time, and we’re making progress.”



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