Members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi received a classified briefing on Wednesday focused on the Libyan militia leader accused of masterminding the 2012 terrorist attacks.
Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the panel, said they appreciated the opportunity to question Obama administration officials on Ahmed Abu Khattala according to Politico.
“The Committee appreciated the opportunity to receive the briefing and to ask preliminary questions important to its work,” Gowdy and Cummings said in a joint statement.
The briefing team included officials from the Departments of Defense, State, Justice, National Intelligence and the FBI.
Khattala pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists in June during a short appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge. In a second court appearance in July, a judge determined that Khattala will remain in custody as the case proceeds.
He was caught in Libya in June by U.S. special forces.
Gowdy and Cummings said the panel, which is beginning to meet regularly this month, will continue to investigate Khattala’s role in the attacks.
“We commend our nation’s military, law enforcement, and intelligence personnel for their efforts in bringing Khattala to justice, and we look forward to exploring these matters in further detail as our work continues,” the statement said.
In a brief interview Wednesday, Gowdy said he doesn’t expect Khattala to be a main focus of the committee, though he does expect to ask the Obama administration to return for many classified briefing in the coming months on a range of Benghazi issues.
“We’re going to have a very robust July. I do expect many more conversations with the Department of State, the Department of Justice and the FBI but it’s not our job to prosecute Mr. Khattala,” Gowdy said.
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has also been briefed on Khattala.
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