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June 27, 2016

Rep. Schiff Statement On Benghazi Committee Democrats Issuing Report and Releasing Interview Transcripts

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a member of the Benghazi Select Committee and Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement after Democrats on the Benghazi Committee issued a 339-page report entitled, Honoring Courage, Improving Security, and Fighting the Political Exploitation of a Tragedy”  and also all of the unclassified interview transcripts in their possession so the American people can read them for themselves:

"After more than two years and millions of taxpayer dollars devoted to the partisan Select Committee on Benghazi, the result was unsurprising – nothing the committee has found alters the core conclusions of the eight other investigations that went before. Its principal objective of damaging the political prospects of Secretary Clinton was also unrealized; instead, the most partisan select committee in Congressional history merely harmed the reputation of the GOP leadership and members that gave birth to it. 

"The Majority opted to conduct its business in shockingly partisan fashion – not even sharing its draft report with the Minority for input or comment – and although we found some new details about the events of that tragic night, they merely provided context rather than changing what we already knew. 

"We found that those who responded that night in Benghazi are true American heroes and did everything they could to save the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tryonne Woods and Glen Doherty, and saved other lives in the process. We found that there was nothing more the military could have done that night that would have saved their lives, nor was there any political interference with rescue efforts.  Instead, military assets needed to be better pre-positioned, changes that have already long since been made. Additionally, we confirmed that the State Department's security precautions were not adequate because of decisions made by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, but debunked the claims that Secretary Clinton played any role in refusing additional security. 

"We yet again debunked conspiracy theories that there was any CIA arms trafficking or that the agency had advance notice of the attack. We also confirmed that the CIA security team's response was delayed for a matter of minutes while leadership at the base sensibly sought to secure local support. Finally, we confirmed that politics played no part in the initial intelligence assessments after the attack and the talking points provided to Congress and Administration officials. 

"When this investigation began, Chairman Gowdy promised to put aside partisanship and to work with Democrats – regrettably, the reality was very different. The Majority excluded Democrats from participating in certain interviews (even concealed them), issued subpoenas with no Minority consultation or vote, withheld transcripts, subjected Secretary Clinton to an eleven hour hearing, and produced its official Committee report without any input or review from Democrats. It's my hope that by issuing our report this week, as uncontroversial as the findings are, we can finally put this sad political chapter behind us once and for all."