January 10, 2018 / 5:12 PM / 10 days ago

UPDATE 1-Republican U.S. Representative Issa of California to retire -statement

(Adds background, context)

WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, who headed a House of Representatives Oversight Committee investigation of American deaths in Benghazi, Libya, that found no wrongdoing, said on Wednesday he would not seek re-election in November.

Issa, 64, became the 32nd House Republican to announce that they will not seek re-election in November, not counting those who left the House early last year.

The congressional district Issa has represented since 2001 - California’s 49th - is one of 23 won by Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election that are currently held by Republicans, who are now considered vulnerable in this November’s congressional elections.

“Throughout my service, I worked hard and never lost sight of the people our government is supposed to serve. Yet with the support of my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election in California’s 49th District,” he said in a statement.

Issa was a leader of the Republican congressional charge to investigate the Obama administration’s handling of the attacks in Benghazi, where the U.S. ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans were killed by militants on Sept. 11, 2012.

The politically charged investigation targeted Obama’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, who at the time was considered the leading 2016 Democratic presidential candidate.

The House Benghazi investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by Clinton or the administration. (Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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