“We have arranged for three hearings on the intelligence aspects of it: the intelligence aspects of the actual attack, the intelligence aspects of the security and the intelligence aspects as to adequacy in the Middle East,” she said. “So we will be handling the intelligence part of it. We are the committee that should do it. We are the committee that is responsible for oversight and has the authority to do it. I see no need for a special committee.”
McCain also said that he and other members of the Senate Armed Services panel “have an interest in what Petraeus has to say” about Benghazi. Graham added that the panel also expects to hear from Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta as well as retiring Africa Command chief Gen. Carter F. Ham, who was in charge of U.S. military operations in the region at the time of the Benghazi attack.
Armed Services Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said Wednesday that he did not want to hold any hearings on Benghazi until after the State Department completes its own review, due in mid-December.
“I don’t want to contribute to any political pressure or any suggestion of wrongdoing,” Levin said.
President Barack Obama on Wednesday repeated his pledge to investigate the attack fully and keep Congress informed.
“It is important to find out what happened in Benghazi,” he said at a news conference. “There needs to be accountability.”
When it comes to the Petraeus scandal, Graham said it is important that lawmakers “segregate out the weird from the national security.”
“This story is getting weirder by the day,” he said. “There is the weird and the strange and the human failings in one camp, and there is a legitimate question about national security being breached in the other camp.”
“At the end of the day,” Graham continued, “who knows where this thing is going to go?”
Jennifer Scholtes, Niels Lesniewski and Matt Fuller contributed to this story.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.