On Thursday, the ranking Democrat on the House Government and Oversight Reform Committee said the Benghazi Accountability Review Board (ARB) report that some have called a “cover up” and a “whitewash” for not interviewing then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was “one of the most comprehensive” ever undertaken.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said he saw no evidence to support the “reckless accusations” that the ARB did not “answer real questions” and was a “cover-up” meant to solely “insulate Hillary Clinton.”
Cummings said such “unsubstantiated accusations” and “those kind of statements upset me” because “they are unfair.”
Cummings then cited witnesses that said the ARB report was “specific, critical, very tough” and the “opposite of a white wash.” He pointed to a report he and Democrats released backing the ARB.
Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Admiral Mike Mullen headed the ARB, and they were before the Committee to testify on Thursday. Critics have said the ARB, which Clinton convened to determine if government employees “breached” their duties in the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans over a year ago, was far from comprehensive and meant to shield top officials like Clinton from blame. Critics point out oaths were not even administered and senior officials were never interviewed. In addition, stenographers were not even present for the interviews that were conducted.
After the ARB report, four mid-level officials “were put on administrative leave with full pay and benefits,” but the ARB did not question “these four officials or their supervisors about their actions.”