Sen. Graham not backing down on Benghazi demands

WASHINGTON — A Republican senator said Sunday he won’t back down from blocking President Barack Obama’s nominees for Federal Reserve chairman and homeland security secretary in a long-running dispute over the deadly attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said nothing had changed even after CBS News admitted on Friday that it was wrong to trust a “60 Minutes” source, a former contractor at a British security company, who claimed to be at the scene of the Benghazi assault.

A day after that CBS report aired Oct. 27, Graham announced that he would stall the nominees until the administration allowed attack survivors to talk to lawmakers.

Graham told CNN’s “State of the Union” that he hopes there’s a way to arrange interview with five State Department employees so he can let the nominations move forward.

“I want to perform oversight. I’m not trying to prosecute a crime. I’m not trying to defend the British contractor,” he said.

Graham said he didn’t want to delay nominees such as Janet Yellen at the Fed and Jeh Johnson at the Department of Homeland Security.

“All I want to do is talk to the survivors, protecting their security, protecting their identity, to find out exactly what did happen. Was it a protest? Was it an al-Qaida-inspired attack?”

The raid on Sept. 11, 2012, killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Conservatives contend that the Obama administration tried to mislead the American people in the heat of a presidential campaign by playing down a terrorist attack on Obama’s watch. Republicans have accused the administration of stonewalling their investigations.

The State Department has told Graham that it was concerned about congressional interviews with the survivors of the attack because of Justice Department advice that the survivors could be witnesses in a criminal trial and any interviews outside the criminal justice process could jeopardize a case.

More in Local News

Inclusion super important to Monroe High senior

Sarah Reeves worked to make homecoming more representative of the student population.

This dental office devoted a day to free care for veterans

All Smiles Northwest in Everett was among businesses observing Freedom Day USA.

FBI operation arrests 3 linked to exploitation of 32 women

The sting focused on Everett and other cities in Snohomish, King, Pierce, Skagit and Spokane counties.

Man arrested in Monroe Walmart robbery; second suspect flees

The pair fled in a stolen Mitsubishi Lancer with a distinctive green spray paint job.

Fugitive convict, missing more than a year, surrenders

Charles Coggins, 60, turned himself in Monday. He could now spend up to 30 days behind bars.

Former homeless camp needs needles and garbage cleaned up

The Hand Up Project will lead a volunteer effort this weekend on wooded land south of Everett.

County Council postpones vote on conservation programs

A decision on funding agricultural and water-quality programs will come after the budget process.

30 homes evacuated after mudslide ruptures natural gas line

The slide also damaged a home in the 7300 block of N Meadowdale Road, near Lynnwood.

Snohomish mayoral candidates have very little in common

Karen Guzak and John Kartak are vying for the new position.

Most Read