The day after an emotional hearing on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi – in which State Department officials accused senior members of the U.S. government of withholding crucial details – House Speaker John Boehner sought to pacify his rank-and-file members Thursday by demanding the White House release emails related to the Sept. 11 assaults.
But those who have been sounding the alarm on Benghazi for months say Boehner's words aren't enough.
In a letter sent to Boehner Tuesday, which was shared with Whispers, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., renewed his call for a select committee on Benghazi to further investigate what happened during the attack and the State Department and administration's response.
"Mr. Speaker, two-thirds of our conference believes that the threshold for action on a Select Committee has been reached. The families of the victims believe the threshold has been reached. After eight months, we can't wait for more time to pass," Wolf wrote, arguing that lawmakers deserved "shame" if they didn't do something more to prevent another attack.
In addition to Wolf, 140 lawmakers have signed on in support of such a committee.
Others had stronger words for Boehner, such as Bob Adams, founder and chair of the conservative super PAC Revive America, which has been pushing for a House select committee on Benghazi for months.
"If you care about getting to the truth on Benghazi, then anything less than a House select committee essentially makes [Wednesday] a flash in the pan," Adams told Whispers. "Boehner will be a good leader when he supports a House select committee. He does not have a majority support for his position. The co-sponsors of the select committee are all votes of no confidence [for him]."
OPSEC, a group of former U.S. intelligence and Special Forces members also pressing for a deeper investigation on Benghazi, says the hearing provided more evidence that a select committee was needed – and that the interim report on the attacks released by Boehner wasn't enough.
"There are now very serious allegations of possible obstruction of justice as well as inconsistencies in the testimony of those directly involved on the ground in Libya and senior military leaders," Scott Taylor, president of OPSEC, tells Whispers. "Even the interim report's findings were challenged by the testimony of yesterday's witnesses. Those three Americans [who testified] did as much to define the need for a select committee to investigate Benghazi as the nearly 140 members of the House who have co-sponsored legislation to set one up."
Boehner has defended the interim report and the way he's handled the investigation, saying in a hearing Thursday that he had confidence in the committees already conducting an investigation. In April, Boehner told Fox News he hadn't endorsed a select committee because the attack hadn't "risen to that level."
On May 1, White House spokesman Jay Carney sought to minimize the conversation around Benghazi as well. "Let's be clear, Benghazi happened a long time ago," Carney told reporters, saying he was "unaware of any agency blocking an employee who would like to appear before Congress to provide information related to Benghazi."