Attorney General Eric Holder said that the results of the FBI investigation into who carried out the Benghazi terrorist attack will be released shortly.
“We will be prepared shortly I think to reveal all that we have done,” Holder told the House Judiciary Committee.
The investigation is a bit of a political football, cited by some administration officials as one of the reasons they refused to disclose their knowledge of terrorist involvement in the Sept. 11, 2012, assault in the days immediately following the assault.
“There were concerns about preserving the integrity of the investigation,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters this week.
Psaki refused to say if the Obama team knows what terrorist group carried out the assault. “Specifically on al Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia, do you believe that they were responsible for this incident?” one reporter asked on Monday.
“There’s still an ongoing FBI investigation,” she replied. “There is still – yes, we’re focused on the ongoing – the investigation, finding out who is responsible. You heard the President say that earlier today.”
One of the top State Department officials on the ground in Libya during the attack, Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Hicks, told Congress that the talking points used by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice damaged the FBI investigation.
“I definitely believe that it negatively affected our ability to get the FBI team quickly to Benghazi,” Hicks told Congress. Hicks’ testimony to Congress revealed why the Libyan government might be so unwilling to work on the issue with the United States — Rice contradicted the Libyan president after the State Department told him to say that terrorists carried out the attack.
“I spoke to the Libyan ambassador and emphasized the importance of Libyan leaders continuing to make strong statements,” Acting Assistant Secretary of State Beth Jones wrote in an email to several State Department officials, including Hicks and Cheryl Mills, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff. “I told him that the group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.”