President Obama should order the State Department to release e-mails related to the administration's response to the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday morning.
At issue is whether the White House and State Department had reason to believe the assault was a planned terror attack when officials were describing it as a spontaneous protest.
At a House oversight committee hearing Wednesday, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) read what he described as an e-mail sent Sept. 12 by acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones to top State Department officials describing the group behind the attacks as affiliated with Islamic terrorists.
"The State Department would not allow our committees to keep copies of this e-mail when it was reviewed," Boehner told reporters at a press conference in the Capitol. "I would call on the president to order the State Department to release this e-mail so the American people can see it."
Boehner also called for the release of e-mails that, according to a House report, show the White House and State Department were involved in rewriting CIA talking points that led U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to describe the attacks as apparently unplanned.
“Last November, the president said he was ‘happy to cooperate in any way Congress wants,'" Boehner said. "This is his chance."
The speaker described the committee's work as "fabulous" and said that there would be more hearings, and more information, to come.