WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday he's determined to answer any questions related to the deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, as the House Republican leader pushed for more information from the Obama administration.
One day after a House hearing on the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, Kerry told reporters as he traveled overseas that anyone culpable of wrongdoing will be dealt with appropriately. But he's withholding judgment on testimony in Congress suggesting that senior State Department officials were pressured or demoted for objecting to the administration's initial and since-debunked explanations for the attacks.
Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died when insurgents attacked the facility in two nighttime assaults several hours apart.
Top administration officials first said the attackers were spontaneous protesters, angry about an anti-Islamic video. But they later acknowledged the attackers were well-equipped terrorists acting under plans.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) asked President Barack Obama Thursday to direct the State Department to release internal emails, sent the day after the Benghazi assault, that deal with the cause for the attacks.
Boehner told reporters that GOP investigators learned that "a senior State Department official emailed her superiors to relay that she had told the Libyan ambassador the attack was conducted by Islamic terrorists." Boehner said the State Department "would not allow our committees to keep copies of this email when it was reviewed."
State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters yesterday the department was following up directly with the House leadership and members about Boehner's request to publicize the emails that the committees saw privately.
The White House dismissed Boehner's call for the document release, with a spokesman saying the administration has cooperated with Congress.