She said the committee had issued a subpoena despite warnings that the legal deposition could threaten ongoing law enforcement efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice. A security official based in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, the night of the attack also was made available, she said, adding that more than a dozen State Department officials have testified in all on the issue.
The State Department has rejected allegations that it has forbidden any of its employees from appearing before Congress. It has noted that the Benghazi survivors also have spoken to investigators and that those reports have been made available to lawmakers.
A blistering report released in December by Pickering, Mullen and three other reviewers found that systematic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels of the State Department meant security was inadequate for Benghazi and “grossly inadequate” to deal with the attack, in which militants stormed the diplomatic post and set it on fire.
Benghazi stands as cause celebre for conservative Republicans who insist the administration was trying to mislead the American people during the heat of a presidential campaign, playing down a terrorist attack on Obama’s watch.
In February, Graham and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., led Republicans in blocking the Senate vote on Obama’s nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to serve as defense secretary, demanding information about the president’s actions in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack.
The administration responded to the requests, and the Senate later confirmed Hagel.
Later that month, Republicans also threatened to hold up the nomination of CIA Director John Brennan, insisting on documents related to Benghazi. The administration provided emails and other documents to Congress.
Graham, who has drawn criticism in some Republican quarters for working with Democrats on other issues like immigration, has been highly critical of the administration on Benghazi. The two-term senator faces several Republican rivals in the GOP primary as he fights for re-election in South Carolina.