Washington power couple Victoria Toensing and her husband Joseph diGenova are representing Benghazi witnesses who will testify next week at the House Oversight and Reform hearing.
Toensing has been claiming all week that access to her client was being inhibited by pressure from unidentified administration officials. On Fox News, Mr. diGenova claimed that the hurdles he faced amounted to a “cover-up” and that the Accountability Review Board had failed to interview key witnesses for its report.
However, a source at the State Department told the Washington Times that “the board already interviewed 100 witnesses, including all the CIA and State Department personnel involved in the defense of the diplomatic post and of the secret CIA base known as the annex a few miles away.”
The State Department replied Wednesday that it had not received any such requests for a security clearance.
That tale took another twist Thursday with department spokesman Patrick Ventrell accusing Mrs. Toensing of “lying.”
Since the State Department issued its denial, he said, Mrs. Toensing “has been in contact with us and is now going through the procedures to get a security clearance. But this individual was on TV repeatedly saying that they were being held back from getting a security clearance before they’d even picked up the phone to call us.”
“She was making false statements,” Mr. Ventrell added, “false statements are lying. … We had somebody who was on national television saying that we were blocking them from getting a security clearance, which was not true.”
For the third day in a row, Ms. Toensing declined to grant The Washington Times’ request for an interview.
But she did appear on Fox News, this morning to answer the charge that she’s been lying.
“The American people deserve integrity in government and they’re not getting that with this State Department,” Toensing began.
“Mr. Ventrell has been making up stuff about me all, week, and attacks my credibility”, she continued. “Here’s what he does, he made up a statement and says I said it, when I never said it and because the statement is false, he says I’m lying.”
Ah- the classic strawman technique so favored by the president.
Toensing demanded that Sec. of State John Kerry apologize for Ventrell’s aspersions.