Gra­ham threat­ens ‘hold’ on all Obama nom­i­nees over Beng­hazi

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY STEPHEN DINAN

Sen. Lind­sey Gra­ham said Wed­nes­day he will “hold” ev­ery fu­ture Obama nom­i­nee, cre­at­ing a hur­dle for them to reach the Se­nate floor, un­til Pres­i­dent Obama and the State Depart­ment al­low Congress to hear from those who were on the ground dur­ing last year’s Beng­hazi ter­ror­ist at­tack.

Joined by fel­low Repub­li­cans, the South Carolina se­na­tor said there are still too many unan­swered ques­tions about the at­tack nearly 14 months af­ter it oc­curred, and said he’s still not sat­is­fied with the White House’s ex­pla­na­tion for why it ini­tially said the two-pronged ter­ror­ist as­sault was ac­tu­ally a mob protest against an anti-Is­lam video.

The Repub­li­cans said they’ve been de­nied the chance to ask ques­tions of the diplo­mats and se­cu­rity per­son­nel who sur­vived the at­tack or even to look at the tran­scripts of the FBI’s in­ter­views with those per­son­nel in the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math.

“Sim­ply put, why can’t we talk to the peo­ple who were attacked,” Mr. Gra­ham said.

Am­bas­sador J. Christo­pher Stevens, a diplo­matic aide and two for­mer Navy SEALs were killed in the at­tacks. No­body has yet been ar­rested, though an in­dict­ment was filed against one sus­pect in Au­gust.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion has said it has al­ready an­swered ques­tions about State Depart­ment se­cu­rity at the diplo­matic post in Beng­hazi, and has been re­luc­tant to grant ac­cess to those who were on the ground, telling re­porters it could jeop­ar­dize the on­go­ing crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion aimed at nab­bing those re­spon­si­ble for the at­tack.

A “hold” on nom­i­na­tions in the Se­nate is an in­for­mal process of no­ti­fy­ing lead­ers that a se­na­tor in­tends to ob­ject to bring­ing that per­son’s nom­i­na­tion to the floor for a vote. It can be over­come, but only by go­ing through a time-con­sum­ing process of hold­ing a vote to de­feat a fil­i­buster.

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