House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) told David Gregory Sunday that ”Hillary Clinton’s not a target” of his Benghazi investigation. Nor, Issa added, is President Obama.
Issa did later add that if Clinton or Obama are personally implicated in the decision-making processes that led to reduced security before the attack, the lack of armed response during the attack, or the scrubbing of the terrorist aspect immediately after the attack, then “of course they should be held accountable.”
Issa sat across from Amb. Thomas Pickering, head of the State Department’s “Accountability Review Board” (ARB), which led an internal review and issued a classified report on the attacks. Pickering awkwardly claimed Issa excluded him from hearings. When Issa took exception, Pickering revised, saying ”We were told the majority said I was not welcome at that hearing – I could come at some other time.”
Indeed, Issa said he had invited Pickering to give a private deposition to the committee, rather than “have some sort of a stage show” before the public. Issa said Pickering had not made available the testimony of that went into the ARB’s report, or even the full list of witnesses consulted for its composition.
Issa said the very incompleteness of the ARB report is the reason the House investigation is necessary. “Ultimately, if that got it right, we could put this to a rest.”