Speaker of the House John Boehner on Wednesday night condemned the Obama administration for going to “extraordinary lengths to mislead, obstruct, and obscure what actually took place” during the Benghazi terrorist attack of 2012 now that it is clear the White House has not turned over all pertinent documents.
The Ohio Republican made the comments after the release of new emails this week by a conservative group, which obtained them through a Freedom of Information Act request. The emails indicate that the White House played a bigger role than previously admitted in crafting the now-debunked initial talking points on the attacks that left four Americans dead, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
“I am appalled to learn that the administration concealed relevant documents after the House subpoenaed all emails related to the misleading talking points,” Boehner said in a release to reporters.
The documents released Tuesday shows Ben Rhodes, a top foreign policy aide in the White House, saying the goal of then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s now-infamous Sunday talk show appearances was to “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, not a broader failure of policy.”
That argument – that the attacks were caused by a video – was later proven false. Intelligence immediately indicated that terrorists were behind the attacks
“When four Americans die at the hands of terrorists, the families of the victims – and the American people – deserve the full, unvarnished truth and nothing less,” Boehner said.
“Instead, this White House been callously dismissive of our efforts to get answers,” Boehner continued. “The House has a constitutional obligation to carry out oversight of the administration, and the president has an obligation to cooperate. This evasiveness must end.”
Several different House committees have been investigating the events surrounding the attacks.
A number of conservatives, led by Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia, has called for a select committee to investigate the attacks. But Boehner has publicly asserted that he is against the establishment of a select committee, saying he thinks the best course for examining the attacks is letting the five House committees already investigating to continue their work.
On Wednesday, Boehner reiterated his support for House probes to continue.
“Our investigation into the events of that September night is going to continue until this White House owns up to the truth – and until these terrorists are brought to justice,” he said.