House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) traveled to Libya for the next stages of the Benghazi scandal investigation early this week – leaving the United States on Sunday and returning safely on Wednesday – but the chairman’s safety may have been jeopardized because of the activities of the leading Democrat on the committee.
The committee’s ranking Democratic member, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), released a statement last week outing the trip on his website. Cummings claimed he announced the trip’s existence to the media because he wanted Democrats to be able to go with Issa to Libya. “Although you claim that your investigation of the Benghazi attacks is bipartisan, your efforts to secretly plan an official trip to Libya–and then deliberately exclude Democrats from joining–is part of an unfortunate pattern of partisanship that undermines the credibility of this investigation,” Cummings said in a statement last Friday.
“The problem with these actions is that they effectively deny Democratic Members the ability to effectively investigate this incident,” he claimed.
Issa’s office was upset by Cummings’ announcement out of concern revealing the details of the trip could’ve put the California Republican in danger. “Ranking Member Elijah Cummings’ reckless release of information was not going to deter Chairman Issa from conducting his oversight responsibilities in the wake of the Benghazi tragedy,” Issa spokesman Frederick Hill told Breitbart News in an email. “Fortunately, despite the media attention and resulting threat, no security incident occurred during Rep. Issa’s time in Libya.”
After Cummings announced the trip, an internal State Department document, first posted by CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson, showed that the Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli reported a Libyan national known as “Eyad” had made threats against Issa’s life.
Joe Mellott, the Acting Deputy Chief of Mission in Tripoli, wrote that “Eyad” told the embassy: “The Sen. Mr. Darrell Issa if he would like to keep his luxury life with a half billion $$$ Do not come to Libya. Who is gonna [guard] the guy? And whom you gonna put a blame if the worst happened…Cuz all he gonna gained a several bullets in his smart skull.”
Issa made it to Libya and home safely, although he did receive what Mellott said was a “text message that referred to a general threat related to the CODEL’s [congressional delegation] visit.”
The Regional Security Office (RSO), Mellott wrote, advised that the threat “did not rise to the level of a specific threat.”
According to Mellott, the Libyan national “Eyad” also said that he believed “the same people who conducted the Benghazi attacks” were the ones he thought would attack Issa.
A spokeswoman for Cummings has not immediately returned a request for comment from Breitbart News.