Demanding Benghazi documents, McCain, Graham will delay Brennan nomination
(CBS News) Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. will not move forward President Obama's nominee to head the CIA until they receive additional documents detailing the White House's handling of the Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the pair said today on "Face the Nation."
"John and I are hell-bent on making sure the American people understand this debacle called Benghazi," Graham said, vowing to "stop" John Brennan's confirmation until further information is released about the attack that left four Americans dead. A Tuesday vote is currently scheduled in the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Graham's vocal censure of the administration's response to Benghazi led to U.S. Secretary to the United Nations Susan Rice removing her name from the Secretary of State short list. In the days following the attack, Rice appeared on "Face the Nation" bearing administration talking points that argued it was "spontaneous" demonstration over an anti-Muslim video - a characterization the White House reversed upon announcing the strike was carried out by extremists with possible linkages to al Qaeda.
"Her story has completely collapsed under scrutiny," Graham said. "I said this to the president: I want FBI interviews of the survivors. They were turned over to the intelligence committee and everything was blacked out. ...The e-mail about who changed the talking points - there's a big gap. I want to know who the survivors are so we can interview them.
"The transmissions from Benghazi to Washington, in real time, on the night of the attack," he continued. "What were people asking for? What were they saying?"
Using a Cabinet nomination as leverage is a classic "give-and-take," a "time-honored tradition" among lawmakers, Graham said. "And I'm going to insist on that," he continued. "I'm not going to vote on a new CIA director until I find out what the CIA did in Benghazi."
McCain said he hates to say he's threatening to hold Brennan's nomination because "the story tomorrow will be, 'McCain and Graham threaten to...'
"Why don't we just get answers to these questions?" McCain asked. "I've had questions, written questions, for Mr. Brennan for nearly three weeks now. I've not received a single answer. I think that we deserve at least an answer to those questions, and I have some questions about torture."
Lindsey Boerma is senior video producer for CBSNews.com.Follow on Twitter »
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