The lengthy report comes after a two-year investigation into the attacks on an American diplomatic mission in Libya.Video provided by Newsy Newslook
FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2015 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Clinton never personally denied any requests from diplomats for additional security at the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, according to Democrats on a select House panel who absolved the former secretary of state and the U.S. military of wrongdoing in the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 attacks.(Photo: Carolyn Kaster, AP)
WASHINGTON — House Republicans say that despite stonewalling by the Obama administration they were able to conclude a two-year investigation into the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi with an 800-page report that blames politically motivated bureaucratic delays<span style="color: Red;">*</span>for failing to prevent or stop the deadly attacks that claimed four American lives.
The highly anticipated report adds new detail to the findings of seven previous congressional inquiries, and is expected to be used by Republicans to question Hillary Clinton's leadership just as the fall presidential campaign heats up.
Clinton, who was secretary of state when Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others were killed on Sept. 11, 2012, was planning to visit Libya later that year, which pressured diplomats to stay at the poorly guarded, temporary outpost despite deteriorating security in the region, according to the report.
The Republicans said "despite President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s clear orders to deploy military assets, nothing was sent to Benghazi, and nothing was en route to Libya at the time the last two Americans were killed almost 8 hours after the attacks began."
Republicans<span style="color: Red;">*</span>highlighted a teleconference meeting a few hours after the attacks began as a turning point in the U.S. response. They say actions taken after that meeting, in which Clinton participated, only delayed the deployment of military forces. Communications afterward referenced the need to get clearance from various countries to deploy military<span style="color: Red;">*</span>resources for a rescue, according to the GOP report.
SELECT COMMITTEE ON BENGHAZI
Select Committee on Benghazi Releases Proposed Report
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., a former prosecutor and chairman of the committee, urged Americans to "read this report for themselves, look at the evidence we have collected, and reach their own conclusions."
"We expect our government to make every effort to save the lives of Americans who serve in harm's way. That did not happen in Benghazi," said Rep. MIke Pompeo, R-Kan.,<span style="color: Red;">*</span>a member of the special committee. "Politics were put ahead of the <span style="color: Red;">*</span>lives of Americans, and while the administration had made excuses and blamed the challenges posed by time and distance, the truth is that they did not try."
Democrats on the panel, led by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., have repeatedly accused the Republicans of using the investigation and numerous previous committee probes to try to embarrass Clinton and damage her chances of becoming president. They released their own minority report a day ahead of the Republicans, contending the report absolves Clinton of blame in the terror attacks.
Democrats, in their Monday report, attempt to blunt that criticism by highlighting the testimony of Pentagon officials who said diplomatic clearances were not necessary and emails mentioning them did not slow the response.
“I recall reading the email summary of the (secure video teleconference) that had arose in that conversation. And my view was that it was irrelevant, that if we needed to deploy forces to protect American lives, that we have the legal authority, and we have the, indeed, the obligation to do so,”<span style="color: Red;">*</span>said James Miller, who was undersecretary of defense for policy, according to the portion of the transcript released by Democrats.
The different partisan interpretations of such evidence, which has largely defined<span style="color: Red;">*</span>debate over Benghazi for almost four years, is likely to persist after the release of the two competing reports.
In a statement, Clinton's campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said the House<span style="color: Red;">*</span>investigation, after spending more than $7 million, did not find anything to contradict the conclusions reached by previous congressional committees.
"This report just confirms what Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and even one of Trey Gowdy's own former staffers admitted months ago: This committee's chief goal is to politicize the deaths of four brave Americans in order to try to attack the Obama administration and hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign," Fallon said.
Democrats' Benghazi report: Clinton not at fault
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