Rep. Darrell Issa received "general threat" prior to Libya visit

Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) listens during a hearing of the House Committee On Oversight and Government Reform on Capitol Hill May 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee held the hearing to investigate the events and response to a 2012 attack on one of the United States's diplomatic compounds in Benghazi, Libya. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images) BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI

CBS News has learned that a "general threat" was made against a member of Congress who made a fact-finding trip to Libya this week.

The chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., traveled to Tripoli as part of the Republican's ongoing investigation into the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on Americans in Benghazi.

On Monday, a State Department email showed the Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli reported that a Libyan national known as Eyad "shared his concern and his opinion that Representative Issa should not come to Libya for his own safety."

Eyad told the embassy "The Sen. Mr. Darrell Issa if he would like to keep his luxury life with a half billion $$$ Do not come to Libya. Who is gonna [guard] the guy? And whom you gonna put a blame if the worst happened...Cuz all he gonna gained a several bullets in his smart skull."

According to a "spot report" filed by the embassy's regional security officer Monday, Eyad stated that he believed "the people who would harm Rep. Issa are the same people who conducted the Benghazi attacks." The spot report was passed on to State Department officials as a general threat "that does not rise to the level of a specific threat."

Issa planned the trip to Libya in secret, but Democrats on the Oversight Committee revealed the plans in a press release last Friday when they obtained a copy of his itinerary. The lead Democrat on the committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., objected to the exclusion of Democrats.

The memorial tree planted at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya in honor of the late U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.
Rep. Darrell Issa

"Although you claim that your investigation of the Benghazi attacks is bipartisan, your efforts to secretly plan an official trip to Libya-and then deliberately exclude Democrats from joining-is part of an unfortunate partisanship that undermines the credibility of this investigation," said Cummings to Issa in a written statement.

Issa returned from the visit safely this week and his office says it's investigating the public release of his travel plans. Issa has not made public details of the Libya visit or what he learned.

He did, however, snap a photo of a memorial tree planted at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli in honor of the late U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, who died in the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks.

Last week Issa authorized subpoenas for two survivors from the 2012 attacks that left Stevens and three other Americans dead.

  • Sharyl Attkisson On Twitter»

    Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News investigative correspondent based in Washington.

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