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Top Oversight Dem on Libya Hearings: 'Turning into a Witch Hunt'

12:14 PM, Oct 14, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, the ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told CBS's Bob Schieffer Sunday that the committee's hearings into the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Libya were "turning into a witch hunt."

Cummings

"Do you think this is simply a witch hunt?" asked Schieffer, the host of Face the Nation.

"I think it’s turning into a witch hunt, and we can do better," Cummings responded.

Cummings suggested that Republicans, including the House committee's chairman Darrell Issa, are politicizing the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi last month that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens.

"The one thing we must not do, Bob, is make this out to be and treat it like a political football, and I think that’s basically what’s happening," Cummings said, adding that Issa's hearings were designed to help the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

"The way we’re doing it is basically based on a campaign schedule and trying to give Romney some talking points," Cummings said.

The House hearings, which began on Wednesday, have revealed that the American military command overseeing troops in Africa supported keeping a team of soldiers in Libya for diplomatic security purposes. The State Department, however, disagreed that such a team was necessary, and the deployment left the country in August.

As Schieffer noted, CBS asked the Obama administration for a representative to talk about the Libya attack but that the White House refused to do so.

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