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Monday, October 28, 2013

Graham threatens to block all nominations over Benghazi survivors

Graham threatens to block all nominations over Benghazi survivors
By Justin Sink - 10-28-13 09:43 AM ET

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Monday he would block confirmation of every presidential nomination until U.S. personnel who witnessed the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi were made available to congressional investigators.

Graham expressed his views in a message on Twitter.

The statement comes after a "60 Minutes" report Monday night that noted more than two dozen Americans who survived the attack have not been seen or heard from in public since. The administration has also not publicly provided the names of survivors and witnesses to the attack.

CBS News also reported that transcripts of FBI interviews with some of the survivors had been redacted.

In an interview with Fox News on Monday morning, Graham said that the survivors "have not been made available to the U.S. Congress for oversight purposes."

"I'm tired of hearing from people on t.v., and reading about stuff in books," Graham said. "We need to get to the bottom of this."

Under Senate rules, individual lawmakers can place holds on nominations and legislation, which requires unanimous consent to proceed. But, like a filibuster, holds can be defeated through a successful cloture vote.

The White House did not comment on the CBS report, or Graham's threat to block presidential nominations. But asked about Benghazi earlier this month, White House press secretary Jay Carney defended the work of the Accountability Review Board tasked with investigating the attack.

He also accused Republicans of attempting to turn the attack into "a partisan issue," and said that the "administration's cooperation with investigations here has been exhaustive."

"The president remains committed to ensuring that every step is taken that we can take as an administration and with Congress to enhance the security of our personnel serving overseas, recognizing that by serving their country they of course are in some places and in some cases putting themselves at risk," Carney said.

"He is committed to doing everything that we can as a country and a government to bring to justice those who are responsible for the deaths of four Americans."

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