Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) blasted the chairman of an investigative panel on the Benghazi attacks for allowing its report to be leaked to Al Jazeera America before Congress even obtained copies of it.
At a Thursday House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on Benghazi, Chaffetz asked Mark Sullivan, the chairman of the Independent Panel of Best Practices, how lawmakers in Congress could have learned about the report on Al Jazeera.
The report found that the State Department knew of security problems in Benghazi and failed to do anything about it. Chaffetz said Congressmen still do not have the report while Al Jazeera America has had it for a month.
“One of my fundamental challenges and problems is the United States Congress doesn’t have this report. It’s been almost a month. We don’t have this report,” Chaffetz said. “And yet the first time it comes out is on Al Jazeera? That’s where we gotta get this stuff?”
Sullivan said the State Department finally has the report, which was finished on August 13, but Al Jazeera obtained it even before the State Department. Chaffetz said that Sullivan and Todd Keil, who was Sullivan’s deputy on the panel, were testifying because lawmakers found out about their panel’s report on Al Jazeera.
Chaffetz insisted Sullivan needed to get to the bottom of how the leak occurred.
“I think that was really unfortunate,” Sullivan said. “The State Department didn’t have a chance to look at that [Al Jazeera America] report before it came out.”
Chaffetz reiterated that Congress still needed copies of the report.
“For Al Jazeera to have a copy it a month almost before us is not acceptable,” Chaffetz said. “We have to get a copy of this.”