WASHINGTON — The State Department promised Wednesday to cooperate with the House special committee looking into the deadly 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, expressing hope that the new investigation will be conducted in a fairer and more bipartisan manner than previous Republican-led inquiries.
In a letter to the panel's GOP chairman and its top Democrat, Assistant Secretary of State Julia Frifield said the department feels that questions have been answered about the assault that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. But she said officials are determined to build a constructive relationship with lawmakers conducting the special investigation.
"We are fully prepared to work with you and your fellow members and share your hope that the committee's work will be conducted in a fair and bipartisan manner," Frifield wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press.
Secretary of State John Kerry, she said, has asked department officials to meet with committee staff "to brief them on our efforts to date to be responsive to Congress, and to discuss how the State Department can be of assistance to the committee," including through the furnishing of more documents.
"We believe that such a meeting can lay the foundation for constructive interaction between the department and the committee," Frifield wrote.
Republicans say the Obama administration hasn't handed over all correspondence related to Benghazi. The complaint is part of a larger set of accusations of wrongdoing that include the administration's failing to respond quickly enough to the attack and then misleading Americans about what happened in a bid to help President Barack Obama win re-election.