Benghazi panel could delay report until near election

A Republican-led committee investigating the 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s role, is signaling that its final report could slip to just months before the presidential election if the Obama administration delays producing documents and witnesses.

A spokesman for Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, chairman of the Benghazi panel, said Wednesday that Gowdy still hopes to complete the committee’s work by the end of this year, but said factors “we don’t control” could delay the report, including a lack of responsiveness by the administration.

Gowdy “wants this done by the end of the year,” spokesman Jamal Ware said, but factors “could continue to impact the timing of the inquiry’s conclusion.”

TULSA, Okla.

Rights advocate calls video of deceased man slander

Video released by investigators that shows an undercover sheriff’s deputy allegedly buying drugs from a man later killed by a volunteer officer amounts to “character assassination,” a civil rights advocate said Wednesday.

The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office released several video clips Tuesday that show a man allegedly selling drugs and talking about selling a gun to an undercover deputy.

The sheriff’s office identified the man as Eric Harris, who was fatally shot by volunteer deputy Robert Bates on April 2 during a sting investigation. Bates, a 73-year-old former insurance executive, has said he confused his handgun with a stun gun, and has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter in Harris’ death.

Marq Lewis, an organizer with We The People Oklahoma who has led rallies since the shooting, said investigators are intentionally trying show Harris in a bad light.

“We see this happening all the time. There is a slander of character,” Lewis said. “Character assassination does not replace the fact that Mr. Harris is deceased. Because he was committing a crime and they recorded it doesn’t give them reasoning that it’s OK for him to die.”


Lawyer: Hinckley ready to live outside hospital

The man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981 is “clinically ready” to live full time outside a mental hospital, his lawyer argued in federal court on Wednesday.

John Hinckley Jr. has been in “full and stable remission” for more than two decades, his lawyer Barry Levine argued.

Hinckley was 25 when a jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity in the assassination attempt. Ever since, he’s lived at St. Elizabeths, a Washington mental hospital. But for a dozen years now, he’s gradually been given more freedom.

Now 60, he spends 17 days a month at the home of his 89-year-old mother.

– From news service reports