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Press Release Published: Aug 20, 2013

Issa Statement on Secretary Kerry’s Decision Not to Pursue Discipline for any Officials in Benghazi Probe

Says House Benghazi Probe Will Expand to Examine Decision

WASHINGTON –House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) issued the following statement on Secretary of State John Kerry’s decision to take four State Department officials, faulted in connection with the Benghazi terrorist attack, off paid administrative leave and not to pursue any disciplinary action, for any officials, in connection with security failures surrounding the Benghazi attacks.

“Obama administration officials repeatedly promised the families of victims and the American people that officials responsible for security failures would be held accountable.   Instead of accountability, the State Department offered a charade that included false reports of firings and resignations and now ends in a game of musical chairs where no one misses a single day on the State Department payroll.  It is now clear that the personnel actions taken by the Department in response to the Benghazi terrorist attacks was more of a public relations strategy than a measured response to a failure in leadership.

“In the course of our investigation, the Oversight Committee learned that the State Department’s review of these four individuals did not include interviews with them or their supervisors to either substantiate or challenge allegations.  The Oversight Committee will expand its investigation of the Benghazi terrorist attack to include how a supposed ‘Accountability Review Board’ investigation resulted in a decision by Secretary Kerry not to pursue any accountability from anyone.”

On July 31, Chairman Issa wrote to the State Department asking why Secretary Kerry had still not made determinations for the four State Department officials placed on paid leave.   In its August 8 response, the State Department confirmed that administrative leave was not a punishment and that Secretary Kerry would be personally briefed before making any decisions on the status of the four employees.