Utah Congressman Claims Benghazi Witnesses Are Being Threatened But Can’t Cite Any Examples

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) accused the Department of State of repeated threats and intimidation against witnesses to last year’s attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. But when pressed by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace for examples, he could offer none.

Asked about a claim by a witness’s lawyer that whistle-blowers had been blocked from testifying (a claim rejected by the Department of State), Chaffetz said that “more than one” witness has indeed been “suppressed” by the Obama administration.

WALLACE: Tell me — a direct threat, a direct act of intimidation against a potential witness?

CHAFFETZ: Yes, and I think we’ll probably…

WALLACE: Tell me one… tell what’s been said.

CHAFFETZ: There are people, more than one, that have felt intimidation from the State Department.

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) quickly debunked his colleague: “There’ve been two attorneys involved here, the only reason they haven’t received information is that they haven’t asked for it yet… there has not been a request for documents from these attorneys to the State Department.”

The only “retaliation,” Lynch noted, was that one of the witnesses wants a reassignment and a promotion and feels he’s being retaliated against because has not yet gotten the promotion.

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As Media Matters has previously noted, Victoria Toensing, the Republican attorney making the initial claims has been peddling Benghazi conspiracy theories for months, including a November Fox News op/ed in which she attempted to draw a link between the attack and the resignation of former CIA director David Petraeus.