Benghazi committee chairman: Obama administration not cooperating with probe

Washington (CNN)The chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi released a report Friday that blamed the Obama administration for not cooperating with the investigation, one year into the probe of the deadly 2012 attack in Libya.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, said that the administration has been slow to comply with subpoenas for witness testimonies and documents.
"While progress has been made, the greatest impediment to completing this investigation in a timely manner has been the level of cooperation by the executive branch," Gowdy wrote in the report.
Gowdy also defended his decision to conduct private transcribed interviews rather than public hearings.
    "While our investigatory approach has uncovered new witnesses, new documents, new facts and will result in the most detailed and complete accounting of what happened in Benghazi, the frustration that some feel at not seeing the work unfold on television or reading about new discoveries in print is understandable," Gowdy said. "The approach we are taking, while short on drama, aims to discover all of the relevant facts and to be long on credibility when the final report is written."
    Democrats have repeatedly slammed the committee's investigation as little more than an exercise in partisan politics, a scramble by Republicans to find a smoking gun linking former Secretary of State -- and now presidential candidate -- Hillary Clinton to the security breaches that resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
    The committee is not set to release its full findings until just before the 2016 presidential election, a timetable critics say is politically motivated, though Republicans insist the delay is because of lack of cooperation from the Obama administration.
    Earlier this week, Clinton agreed to testify before the committee later this month. On Friday, a source familiar with the select committee's discussions said the decision about the scheduling of Clinton's public hearing has not yet been made, but the aide expects Gowdy to make a final call next week when the committee members are back in Washington.
    Asked about the language in Gowdy's report that the committee has concerns about obtaining all the testimony from State Department officials before interviewing other witnesses, the source said the interviews will be ongoing throughout the process and won't impact the timing of the interview with Clinton.
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    On Thursday, the top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, marked the one-year anniversary by accusing the GOP-created committee of wasting $3 million in an effort to go after Clinton.
    "After a full year, it now seems obvious that this investigation is being dragged out in order to attack Secretary Clinton and her campaign for president -- squandering millions of taxpayer dollars in the process -- while Republicans use this tragedy to raise campaign funds," Cummings said. "This is exactly the opposite of what we promised the victims' families, and I urge the Select Committee to drop this political charade and focus on implementing reforms that will protect our diplomatic corps around the world."