(WASHINGTON) — The trio of Republican senators responsible for part of the filibuster of Chuck Hagel’s confirmation as defense secretary are moving on to another target in order to extract more information on Benghazi from the White House. That new target? The nomination of John Brennan to be the next CIA director.
When asked about holding up Hagel’s nomination Thursday, Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said they are not satisfied with the administration’s answers on Benghazi. They noted the filibuster is a Senate tradition of oversight while adding that they intend to use the same sort of leveraging in the Brennan nomination.
“It’s a time-honored practice, it’s a way for us to get information,” McCain said, “we’ve been totally stonewalled so the only leverage honestly that we have is to gauge our support for the nomination of a nominee on whether they are forthcoming with information.”
The senators said they intend to hold up the Brennan nomination over the much-debated talking points given to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice before the Sunday shows in the days following the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
“When Brennan comes forward, I want to know who changed those talking points,” Sen. Graham said. “We are going to find out who changed those talking points or die trying.”
The senators also said they hope the White House will be “forthcoming with the information” and that there won’t be a need to hold up another nomination.
On Wednesday, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky already announced he was prepared to put a “hold” on Brennan’s nomination, but that he would question the administration’s policy on the use of armed drones to attack U.S. citizens.
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