At a press conference Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed a new “smoking gun”email about the Obama administration’s response to the Benghaziterrorist attack as “diversion” and “subterfuge.”
“I haven’t seen it, but I will say this again–diversion,subterfuge–Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. Why aren’t we talking aboutsomething else?” Pelosi said in response to a question fromBreitbart News. “What I know of what I’ve read in the press aboutthe emails was what was put out there before. I don’t think therewas anything new there.”
Pelosi further challenged the idea that the White House was tryingto hide something because a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)lawsuit was required to obtain the email, as opposed to a subpoenafrom Congress:
It didn’t have any additional information, but I want to tell yousomething. In scope of the subpoena that–whatever his name is … Issawas putting forth, it did not include that email. A FOIA is a differentstory. So you can’t say what you would put out on a FOIA what youshould have done under a subpoena. That’s not what the subpoenaencompassed. It isn’t that different than what else was out there.
Republicans said the White House only released the email in question–which had been demanded via subpoena for months–at the same time it released the document to Judicial Watch.
Republicans also claimed the new document showed that the White House misled thepublic about the tragic events at Benghazi because of fears abouthow the incident would play in the presidential election, then only weeksaway.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Breitbart News, “The email would never have been made available to the American peopleif it weren’t for an independent judiciary. That’s all you need toknow about this White House–their story–that they’retransparent–that they want to be honest.” He added, “The truth isthey’re not honest when Carney said yesterday this email hadnothing to do with Benghazi. It’s insulting my intelligence anddisrespectful to those who died serving their country. Clearly, it’sall about Benghazi.”
Pelosi questioned Republican priorities, asking why the party doesnot focus on other issues besides the Benghazi attack:
It’s going to be a very interesting debate about the priorities. As our Chairman Mr. Israel would say, ‘Whose side are you on?’ We don’t wantto have it be that we want to be everybody on the same side of theAmerican people, and that is why many of us do what we do to engagein the political process, because the policy makes a difference tothe American people. It’s going to be an excitingdebate. And if you all want to sit around and talk about Benghazi,you can sit around and talk about Benghazi, but the fact is, that’sa subterfuge. They don’t want to talk about jobs, growth,immigration, voting rights–you name it.
Graham, however, responded to Pelosi’s remarks by saying:
TheDemocratic Party, to their everlasting shame, has been an enabler ofan administration who has lied and manipulated for politicalpurposes. We’ve had a history of bipartisanship. When Gitmo came up,I didn’t write it off as a small thing. It was a big thing. AbuGhraib was a system failure. Benghazi was a system failure. TheHouse Democratic response is shameful. It’s disrespectful to thosewho have served and are serving. It’s disrespectful to their families.