State Department

Rep questions Kerry on secret Benghazi reward offer

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is questioning Secretary of State John Kerry on the administration's apparent decision to quietly offer a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the Benghazi terror attack. 

The letter comes after the department abruptly revealed last week that it had been offering the reward since January -- even though the reward was not listed as part of the State Department's "Rewards for Justice" website and even though the department had not previously acknowledged the offer. 

Dozens of Republican lawmakers originally complained to the department about the apparent omission. After the department revealed it had secretly offered the reward all along, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, wrote to Kerry seeking more details. 

"While the Department now says that it has made an RFJ reward available, it is not clear to us how effective the offer can be if it is not publicized or promoted," he wrote. "Further, we understand that deliberations about how to use the RFJ program might be sensitive, but it is not clear to us why Department officials were unable to say that an RFJ reward offer had been made available months earlier." 

A State Department official told Fox News that the secretary of State signed an authorization for the reward offer on Jan. 7. 

"However, we cannot make that document public," the official said. 

The State Department had previously ducked questions about whether rewards for the Benghazi attackers had been offered, citing concerns about identifying possible suspects. 

Fox News' Catherine Herridge and Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.