Politics
In this May 15, 2013 file photo, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. On Thursday, Issa led Republican condemnations of the White House for the labeling of House investigations as "phony scandals". (Photo: AP)

Issa feared targeted by terrorists after Democrats revealed secret Libya trip

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

A leaked State Department email indicates that officials were worried about the safety of House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa after Democrats revealed his plans for a secret trip to Libya this week.

Issa, a Republican from California, has safely returned from his fact-finding trip to the country as his committee continues to investigate the terrorist attacks that killed America’s ambassador and three others in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.

CBS News reported Thursday on an email that quoted a Libyan national sharing “his concern and his opinion that Representative Issa should not come to Libya for his own safety.”

The email reports that the Libyan thinks, “the people who would harm Rep. Issa are the same people who conducted the Benghazi attacks.”

Before Issa’s trip, Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued a press release asking Issa to postpone his trip until he allows Democrats to join him.

“Although you claim that your investigation of the Benghazi attacks is bipartisan, your efforts to secretly plan an official trip to Libya — and then deliberately exclude Democrats from joining — is part of an unfortunate pattern of partisanship that undermines the credibility of this investigation,” Cummings wrote. “The problem with these actions is that they effectively deny Democratic Members the ability to effectively investigate this incident.”

Issa’s office responded on Thursday by lamenting the situation.

“Ranking Member Elijah Cummings’ reckless release of information was not going to deter Chairman Issa from conducting his oversight responsibilities in the wake of the Benghazi tragedy,” Issa spokesman Frederick Hill told The Daily Caller. “Fortunately, despite the media attention and resulting threat, no security incident occurred during Rep. Issa’s time in Libya.”

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