Skip to comments.The 18-month battle to get White House Benghazi emails
Posted on 05/03/2014 9:10:01 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
It took 18 months for Judicial Watch to unearth the emails on Benghazi that led Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Friday to say hes forming a special committee to look into the issue.
This material was not voluntarily disclosed, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told The Hill during a phone interview.
The emails have given new life to Republican attacks on Benghazi. They include a key email from White House official Ben Rhodes outlining goals for the talk-show appearances of Susan Rice, who was serving as ambassador to the United Nations at the time.
After the emails, Rice appeared on television and linked the attack in Benghazi to protests of an anti-Islamic video that were occurring in the Middle East.
Rhodes said Rice should underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.
Judicial Watch made its request for documents under the Freedom of Information Act. It requested talking points and any related communications about the attack that were given to Rice.
The group made that request on Oct. 18, 2012, a little more than a month after the terrorist attacked killed four Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The State Department acknowledged receipt of the request about a week later, but eight months after that Judicial Watch had not heard whether State would comply with the request, according to court documents.
That led Judicial Watch to sue State on June 21, 2013, for unlawfully withholding information. A district court then ordered the State Department to turn over 41 documents, which were released to the group on April 18, 2014.
Under FOIA, the government is required to release existing documents unless they are exempt under any of nine major categories that protects things like confidential commercial information or personal identification information, said Ginger McCall, director of the Open Government Program at the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
McCall said that if an agency is forced to release information via court order, it basically means that agency shouldnt have been withholding the information from the beginning.
McCall said that most FOIA requesters don't sue, due to lack of resources, and that often times the agency, knowing that, will take advantage of that.
Fitton, the Judicial Watch leaders, charges that States refusal to hand over the documents to Congress earlier could be an obstruction of congressional investigations.
Such arguments led Boehner to say Friday he would form a special committee.
He argued that the emails suggested the White House hadnt been forthcoming with a House subpoena.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, announced on Friday that he would subpoena Secretary of State John Kerry to testify on the emails.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said this week that the emails were not turned over to Congress because they were not specifically about Benghazi. Fitton said those claims were ludicrous" and possibly a crime.
Carney needs to be talking to an attorney and not the press, he said.
The next question the group will seek to answer is whether Rhodes was acting on his own in sending out his email.
Fitton said Judicial Watch has multiple FOIA requests on the attack pending, as well as four or five related lawsuits.
Were happy to cooperate with Congress and the Justice Department, he said.
The POTUS would like to wave his magic pen and sign FOIA out of existence. If anything I think he’s proved EXACTLY why the FOIA was created in the first place.
Maybe Trey Gowdy should hire Hillary. I hear she is looking for a job, and has a history of unethical behavior in investigations of this type.
On Wednesday, Jay Carney explained as if he was talking to a room full of children that the Benghazi e-mail the White House refused to release until the White House was forced to release its Benghazi e-mails wasnt in fact about Benghazi, even though the e-mail talks about Benghazi. This is Monty Pythonesque of Dead Parrot proportions. Thats not a Benghazi e-mail, its just an e-mail about Benghazi, in a folder marked Benghazi e-mails, idiot.”..........
It may be that the president doesn’t understand the powers of other branches of government. Under the Obama administration, the executive branch doesn’t feel they have to answer to the legislative branch. Why?
If you had a clue, you would use the Benghazi executive branch cover up to put real pressure on Obama to disclose other cover ups like with the IRS.
Boehner, lead or get out of the way.
The reason this is important is that if the attack was not due to a youtube video, what was it due to?
What was going on in Benghazi that would make it better to have a US ambassador and 3 other Americans left to be tortured and killed by Ansar al Sharia than to let the truth out? What truth could be so bad?
Gotta keep following up with that.
I have some skepticism of why Odinga and his murderous crew turned over that document at the request of a lowly District Judge. Seems they could have fought it for a year or two.
I hope our team is not being setup in some way, Rats are much better at playing that type of game.
But, DUDE, it happened two years ago! Like how to do you expect me to remember anything that long ago? We be smokin’ and tokin’ and watch in’ people DIE, dontchaknow?
Too lazy to pick up the phone or meet in the hallway I guess.
I seriously wonder how much longer Jay Carney will last being forced to tell all those lies. It must be really stressful.
Howdy Cincinatus’ Wife,
Hope you are ok?
Ya know, if you look at the backgrounds of the stars of obammy’s gub mint, many have moose limb back grounds and it seem they are either pushing islam , apologizing for it, berating Christianity or slamming America.
I think obammy really is a moose limb./.