- The Washington Times - Friday, March 28, 2014

Democratic lawmakers on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have petitioned Chairman Darrell Issa via a letter to stop talking about the Benghazi attacks — saying the multitude of hearings are making the panel look bad.

Seventeen Democrats under the leadership of ranking Rep. Elijah Cummings sent a letter to Mr. Issa, demanding he quit his formal hearings on the investigation into the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks that left four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, dead.

It’s become a “partisan investigation,” Democrats accused in the letter, reported by Politico. And it’s only widened the schism between parties and ratcheted the rancor, they said.

Democrats, including those in the White House, also say the investigation has cost taxpayers millions of dollars to conduct — and for what? They say the hearings haven’t produced any meaningful bits of information and even accuse that Republicans are only try to damage Hillary Clinton’s chances for success at a 2016 White House run, Politico reported.

Of special damage: Mrs. Clinton’s emotion-filled testimony before the committee in May when she responded to a question about the administration’s changing narrative about the root of the attacks with the fiery statement: “What difference — at this point, what difference does it make?”

It’s time to stop all that talk, Democrats say.

“This is all about putting up points against Hillary,” one Democrat said, to Politico. “It’s clear what [Issa-led Republicans] are trying to do.”

A spokesman for the Oversight committee, Frederick Hill, called that characterization ridiculous.

“That’s not true. That’s not our aim,” Mr. Hill said, in Politico. “We’re trying to get to the bottom of what occurred. If the basic question is does the chairman still have concerns that [Clinton] had personal responsibility to ensure the safety of the people at this facility? Absolutely, he continues to.”

But Mr. Cummings, and at least 16 of his fellow Democratic committee members, say Mr. Issa has held three hearings on the matter — and that’s quite enough.

Their letter, in part, reads: Mr. Issa should “put a halt to the committee’s partisan investigation of the September 2012 attacks in Benghazi and begin focusing instead on conducting responsible oversight to implement constructive reforms to protect our diplomatic corps overseas. … Continuing this reckless pattern of launching wholly unfounded accusations on national television … is undermining the credibility of our committee and the seriousness of our work.”

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