WASHINGTON (CBS HOUSTON) — Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, introduced legislation on Thursday to require Secretary of State John Kerry to offer up to $5 million in reward money for information regarding last year’s Benghazi, Libya attacks.
“The State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program exists to help the U.S. identify and apprehend its enemies, but the Obama Administration has not used it to pursue the terrorists who attacked our personnel in Benghazi,” said Cruz in a press release.
The press release states that the program has distributed over $125 million to more than 80 people since 1984.
“This legislation enables the Secretary of State to offer a substantial reward for information leading to the apprehension and prosecution of the suspects who have been identified. U.S. investigators should have all available tools at their disposal to bring to justice those who murdered four Americans in Benghazi, including the first Ambassador killed in service since 1979.”
The Cruz website notes that last a $5 million reward for information on drug lords was issued last week, and that then-Sen. Kerry supported reward money to help capture Joseph Kony last year – which passed the Senate and enacted into law.
This comes following Sen. Lindsey Graham’s announcement last week that he would block President Barack Obama’s nominees for the Federal Reserve Chairman and Homeland Security Chief without congressional testimony from the survivors of the attack.
“What I am asking for is to talk to the people who were there,” Graham told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference, insisting that congressional investigator have access to survivors.
In a letter to Graham, the State Department said it was concerned about congressional interviews with the survivors of the attack because of Justice Department advice that they could be witnesses in a criminal trial and any interviews outside the criminal justice process could jeopardize a case, the Associated Press reported.
The department also wrote that “because these survivors are potential witnesses in a terrorism prosecution, as well as law enforcement professionals who engage in security activities around the world including at high-threat posts, disclosure of their identities could put their lives, as well as those of their families and the people they protect, at increased risk.”
Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in a terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.