Benghazi: Graham Threatens Hold on Hagel, Brennan
Senator Lindsey Graham (R - SC) is not giving up on his efforts to have the White House answer questions about what President Barack Obama was doing on the night the U.S. Mission in Benghazi was attacked. Four Americans were killed last September 11 during that attack, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Graham is threatening to put a hold on former Senator Chuck Hagel's confirmation for secretary of defense and John Brennan's confirmation for CIA chief, if he does not get the answers on Benghazi.
"No confirmation without information," Graham said to CBS News' Face the Nation on Sunday. "I don't think we should allow Hagel to be confirmed secretary of defense," saying, "until the White House gives us an accounting."
Breitbart News spoke with Senator Graham on Monday night, and he confirmed that he is willing to put a hold on not just Hagel but all of the President Obama's nominees, if the President does not give more information on the Benghazi attack.
"If they don’t give us the basic information about what the president did that night on September 11, I’m going to withhold confirmation of the nominees until they provide information," He said. "They did this on Bolton. I hate doing this, but it’s the only way I know to get this White House who has been deceptive and misleading and this is the only way I know to elevate it. And they can answer my questions in five minutes."
Graham added, "I just need my colleagues to say this is not unfair to ask the president to account for what he did that night."
Sen. Jack Reed (D - RI) appeared on Face the Nation as well and called Graham's move “unprecedented and unwarranted," saying that it is "an overreaction that is not going to serve the best interest going forward of the national security of the United States.”
However, in May of 2005, Senator Barbara Boxer (D - CA) placed a hold on President Bush's U.N. Ambassador nominee John Bolton:
Sen. Barbara Boxer of California has erected a roadblock against John Bolton, President Bush's embattled nominee for U.N. ambassador, in a fight with the administration over access to documents.
Boxer said Friday she would lift her hold on the nomination if the administration provided the additional information she was seeking. Boxer took her action to slow Bolton's nomination after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday sent Bolton's name to the full Senate without a recommendation.
The move by Boxer is the latest twist in a nomination battle that has become increasingly bitter. Democrats say Bolton -- a State Department official who has long been an outspoken critic of the United Nations -- is arrogant and undiplomatic and has tried to force intelligence analysts to twist their findings to suit his preconceived conclusions. Republican supporters say Bolton is just what the United States needs at the U.N., a diplomat who will force changes in an organization hamstrung by waste, corruption and an inability to take decisive action.
"I said at the committee meeting that I was going to do everything I could to get the information I've asked for, and I did," Boxer said Friday in an interview. "It's a way to bring attention to this matter."
Two weeks later, Boxer dropped the hold on Bolton's nomination and he was successfully confirmed by the Senate.
It is unclear as to how much support Graham will have among his fellow Republicans if he places a hold on Obama nominees. Senator John McCain (R -AZ) told Fox News Sunday, "We’ve never filibustered a presidential cabinet appointee, and I don’t think we should start here.”
Senator McCain told Breitbart News on Monday night, "Senator Graham said he wanted the answer to his questions. I support him getting the answers to his questions. I believe he'll get the answers."