NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard joined relatives of Sept. 11 victims on Tuesday in demanding that the federal government release the findings of its investigation into the Saudi government’s role in the Sept. 11 attacks.
“We are 18 years removed from this terrible crime, and the victims of this crime, the families who are here today, the American people deserve all of the evidence to fully come to light,” the Hawaii congresswoman said in New York City. She said the victims’ families “want the truth, and they deserve the truth.”
Plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit seeking the release of documents that they believe link the attackers to Saudi government officials joined Gabbard at a museum near the former site of the twin towers.
“Our government should not be invoking secrecy to keep its own mistakes hidden from the American people and should certainly not be used to protect the Saudis from embarrassment or, worse yet, accountability,” said Terry Strada, a Sept. 11 widow and the chairwoman of 9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism. “Until there is an accounting, we will never go away.”
Messages seeking comment were left with the U.S. Department of Justice and with an attorney for the Saudi government.
The Saudi government has repeatedly denied involvement in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, though 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.
Gabbard said she enlisted in the military after the terrorist attacks “to use my life to defend the safety and security of the American people.”
Gabbard, who is trailing far behind the front-runners in the race for the Democratic nomination, has previously criticized the Saudi government on the presidential debate stage and on Twitter , where she used salty language to accuse Republican President Donald Trump of awaiting “instructions from his Saudi masters.”
Gabbard said she would reintroduce House Resolution 663 from 2017, which would demand that documents related to Sept. 11 be declassified “to the greatest extent possible so as to provide answers to survivors, the families of the victims, and the people of the United States.”
She said she was seeking “not a highly redacted version of this information that makes no sense but a declassified version that actually speaks the truth of what led to the attack on 9/11.”