Press Releases

WASHINGTON— Today, the Democratic Members of the Select Committee on Benghazi issued a 339-page report entitled, Honoring Courage, Improving Security, and Fighting the Political Exploitation of a Tragedy.  Democrats also released all of the unclassified interview transcripts in their possession so the American people can read them for themselves.

“Decades in the future, historians will look back on this investigation as a case study in how not to conduct a credible investigation,” the Members wrote.  “They will showcase the proliferation of Republican abuses as a chief example of what happens when politicians are allowed to use unlimited taxpayer dollars—and the formidable power of Congress—to attack their political foes.”

The Democratic report’s overarching conclusion is that the evidence obtained by the Select Committee confirms the core findings already issued by many previous investigations into the attacks in Benghazi.  Although the Select Committee obtained additional details that provide context and granularity, these details do not fundamentally alter the previous conclusions.

The report finds: 

  • U.S. personnel in Benghazi and Tripoli conducted themselves with extraordinary courage and heroism and at grave personal risk to defend and rescue their fellow Americans.
  • The Defense Department could not have done anything differently on the night of the attacks that would have saved the lives of the four brave Americans killed in Benghazi, and although the military’s global posture prevented it from responding more quickly that night, improvements were made years ago.
  • The State Department’s security measures in Benghazi were woefully inadequate as a result of decisions made by officials in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, but Secretary Clinton never personally denied any requests for additional security in Benghazi.
  • The Intelligence Community’s assessments evolved after the attacks as more information became available, but they were not influenced by political considerations.
  • Administration officials did not make intentionally misleading statements about the attacks, but instead relied on information they were provided at the time under fast-moving circumstances.

The Democratic report also documents the grave abuses Republicans engaged in during this investigation—from A to Z.  Republicans excluded Democrats from interviews, concealed exculpatory evidence, withheld interview transcripts, leaked inaccurate information, issued unilateral subpoenas, sent armed Marshals to the home of a cooperative witness, and even conducted political fundraising by exploiting the deaths of four Americans.

“In our opinion,” the Members wrote, “Chairman Gowdy has been conducting this investigation like an overzealous prosecutor desperately trying to land a front-page conviction rather than a neutral judge of facts seeking to improve the security of our diplomatic corps.”

“We are issuing our own report today because, after spending more than two years and $7 million in taxpayer funds in one of the longest and most partisan congressional investigations in history, it is long past time for the Select Committee to conclude its work,” they wrote.  “Despite our repeated requests over the last several months, Republicans have refused to provide us with a draft of their report—or even a basic outline—making it impossible for us to provide input and obvious that we are being shut out of the process until the last possible moment.”

The Democratic report makes 12 recommendations.  Because the fundamental goal of the Democratic Members has always been to improve the security of our diplomatic corps and Americans serving our country overseas, the report makes nine recommendations to improve security measures, security training, risk management processes, and support for survivors and their families.  The report also makes three recommendations for Congress to consider before establishing any future select committees.     

Click below to read each section:

 

The Democratic Members of the Select Committee are Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings, Rep. Adam Smith, Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Linda Sanchez, and Rep. Tammy Duckworth.

 

 

Smith Statement on Supreme Court Decision in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt

Washington D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling today that upheld the constitutional right of women to make their own reproductive decisions:

June 27, 2016

“Today the Supreme Court struck down two provisions of a dangerous anti-abortion law in Texas by a vote of 5 to 3. In the case of Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, a group of Texas abortion clinics and three doctors argued that a Texas state law requiring health providers have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and perform abortions in ambulatory surgical centers was overly burdensome. I am extremely pleased to see the Supreme Court rule in favor of the plaintiffs, recognizing that unnecessary requirements on surgical centers poses an undue burden on women’s constitutional right to seek an abortion. I stand with all women and will continue to support policies that allow for women to make their own healthcare decisions and have access to critical reproductive healthcare services.” 

Washington D.C.Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s deadlocked decision in United States v. Texas:

“I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s ruling today resulting in a deadlock decision on the President’s Executive Actions on Immigration. Millions of U.S. citizens with undocumented parents and DREAMers will now face uncertainty in their future and may see their families torn apart. Failure on the part of Republican leadership is what forced the President to act. I call on Congress to take action and pass a permanent comprehensive immigration bill and fix our broken system. We cannot afford to wait any longer to reform our immigration system and bring relief to millions of children and families.”

 

Washington D.C.Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement about the sit-in taking place on the House Floor:

“Today, I was proud to join Congressman John Lewis and Congresswoman Katherine Clark as they led House Democrats in a sit-in to call for action on common sense gun reforms. My fellow Democrats and I took to the floor to demand that gun safety legislation finally be allowed a vote by the full House of Representatives. The time is long past due for action. It is shameful that Republican Leadership has failed to listen to the American people. Speaker Ryan must change course – let us vote now to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous terrorists and enact reforms that will reduce gun violence and keep our communities safe.” 

Washington D.C. On June 10, 2016, Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA)and Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) introduced bipartisan legislation, The Adoptee Citizenship Act, H.R. 5454, to guarantee citizenship to international adoptees. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate, S.2275 by Senator Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Coats (R-IN). Often, when children are adopted, the required paperwork is not filed and the children are never naturalized. With the passage of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, most international adoptees were granted citizenship. Unfortunately, the bill did not apply to adoptees who were already over the age of 18 when it was enacted into law in 2000. The Adoptee Citizenship Act, would fix this arbitrary oversight and grant citizenship to people who were legally adopted and were age 18 or older in the year 2000 when the Child Citizenship Act was signed into law.

“This bill seeks to carry forward the vision of the original Child Citizenship Act of 2000, which sought to ensure that adopted children and biological children are treated equally under U.S. law. It will extend citizenship to foreign born adoptive children who have joined their forever families here in the United States," said Congressman Smith. "Unfortunately, not all adoptees were able to benefit from the legislation when it originally passed, as it was limited to apply only to minors age 18 and under. Adopted individuals should not be treated as second class citizens just because they happened to be the wrong age when the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 was passed.”

“The Adoptee Citizenship Act closes a loophole and in so doing, brings hope to thousands of adoptees who were lawfully adopted and have lived their entire lives knowing only the United States as home, and yet, may never have been able to exercise their rights of citizenship due to lack of paperwork stemming from the circumstances surrounding their adoption," said Congressman Franks. "Elevating the voices of adoptees here in Congress has been a priority for me as co-chair of the Adoption Coalition, and I am so grateful to be able to jointly introduce this very bipartisan initiative with my colleague Congressman Smith. I look forward to working together to ensure the legislation moves forward.”

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