Cummings Demands Public Hearing with Pickering and Mullen
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement insisting that Committee Chairman Darrell Issa honor his commitment to hold a public hearing with Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Admiral Mike Mullen, who led the Accountability Review Board that examined security in Benghazi:
“House Republicans have politicized this investigation from the beginning, and they have recklessly accused Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen of being complicit in a cover-up. It is time for the Chairman to honor his commitment to hold a hearing to allow these officials to respond to these reckless accusations, instead of imposing new conditions to keep them from testifying. Members of Congress and the American people should hear directly from these officials – in public – and the Chairman’s efforts to keep them behind closed doors undermines the Committee’s credibility and does a disservice to the truth.”
During the Committee’s hearing on May 8, 2013, Cummings confirmed on the record that Issa in fact agreed to a public hearing the night before. Since then, however, Issa has imposed new conditions that would require Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen to submit to closed interviews with Issa’s staff before any public testimony.
Earlier today, Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen sent a second letter of their own requesting the opportunity to testify before the Committee at a public hearing and to answer questions directly from Members of Congress.
On Monday, Cummings wrote to Issa reiterating his request for a public hearing so Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen could provide information about their investigation and respond directly to serious charges leveled against them over the past week by congressional Republicans.