WH points to GOP fundraising on Benghazi, won’t say if it will cooperate

McClatchy Washington BureauMay 7, 2014 

The White House isn’t yet saying whether it will cooperate with a new House investigation into the September 2012 attack in Libya -- but it stressed Wednesday that Republicans are raising money to support the endeavor.

Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the White House has shown “remarkable cooperation” with a number of other Benghazi inquiries, but that a fund raising effort by Republicans provides “some new evidence .. about the way that this panel can be judged.”

Earnest noted the National Republican Congressional Committee earlier today sent out a fund raising appeal that “tells you just about all you need to know when it comes to assessing the political motivations of those who are leading the effort to form this committee.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney earlier this week said the White House generally cooperates with “legitimate” lines of inquiry.

“If you look at the statistics, there’s been a remarkable expenditure of resources from Congress related to this investigation, and a remarkable level of cooperation that you’ve seen in terms of witnesses participating in hearings, and transcribed interviews, and in terms of documents that have been provided to members of Congress on this issue,” Earnest said.

He said Obama’s focus has been bringing the perpetrators to justice and carrying out recommendations by the Accountability Review Board that found fault with diplomatic security at U.S. facilities.

“We have not seen cooperation from Republicans in Congress on that effort,” Earnest said. “And it’s unfortunate that they seem more interested in these kinds of investigations than working with the administration to actually make sure that we’re doing all that we can to keep our diplomats safe.”

Earnest said the White House has yet to determine whether to cooperate with the panel, which hasn’t yet been appointed.

“I think that the fact that the National Republican Congressional Committee is raising money off the creation of this committee is a pretty good indication of the political motivation that’s at work here,” he said. “That said, the panel has not yet been created. The members have not yet been appointed. And the investigatory tactics that they are planning to employ have not yet been disclosed. So I’m going to reserve judgment on that.”

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