The panel investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, delivered its findings Monday to State Department officials, who said the report could be released publicly as early as Wednesday.
But Republican lawmakers already have expressed skepticism about the probe’s thoroughness and frustration that their key concerns will not be addressed in the report by the Accountability Review Board — the mandated State Department panel investigating the Benghazi incident.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire Republican and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the investigative panel would not probe “interagency discussions” about what occurred at the consulate in the months before the attack and questions about the Obama administration’s response during the deadly assault.
“So I think when we get the report of the Accountability Review Board, it will not answer the question of why didn’t we have [military] assets in place. It will not answer the question of interagency communications and what deficiencies were there. And so there are going to be some significant limitations to that review from what I know,” Mrs. Ayotte told an audience Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute.
She and fellow committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, had written to the chairman of the accountability board, retired Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, outlining questions they hoped would be answered in his panel’s report.
Many of the questions in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, relate to the roles of President Obama and his White House staff in handling the crisis.