WASHINGTON, June 15, 2013— Robert Mueller, director of the FBI, testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Capital Hill on June 13, 2013 concerning the IRS and the Benghazi scandals.
Mueller very quickly demonstrated his unwillingness to provide details about either the IRS or Benghazi.
Even the simplest questions drew vague or incomplete answers. When the Committee asked Mueller the name of the lead investigator assigned to the IRS case, the FBI director said he did not know and that he would have to get back to Congress with the answer.
When Congress asked whether any of his investigators spoke with any of the individuals reportedly targeted by the IRS, Mueller again did not know.
In several cases, Mueller declined to provide answers because, he said, it was an ongoing investigation.
While demurring to provide information on an ongoing investigation makes sense, it seems disingenuous that the FBI director would not know details of such a high profile investigation. How could the FBI director not know the name of the lead investigator on the case? It seems very strange that Mueller would not receive daily briefings and updates concerning the investigation.
Mueller’s answers on Benghazi were equally insubstantial.
During the investigation, House members asked why it took two weeks for FBI investigators to reach Benghazi. Usually, FBI investigators begin work immediately to ensure that the crime scene is not compromised. Mueller responded that the area was not secure and that it was too dangerous for the FBI to enter.
News organizations, including CNN, were on the scene in Benghazi within 24 hours after the attack.
Moreover, FBI agents are trained to operate in hostile territory and to secure areas for investigation. The FBI also has the ability to request security, including military security, to allow agents to investigate.
Because the FBI did not arrive in Benghazi for two weeks, the scene was compromised. Items from the scene were removed, some by media members on the scene and others by civilians, and information that remained was tainted and unreliable.
Congress will need more hearings and direct questioning of Administration officials to break the barriers and obtain information. The empty responses the Obama administration continues to feed the public is simply not acceptable.
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