Nearly a year after the deadly attacks that killed four Americans in Benghazi, the Obama administration is finally filing formal charges against a suspect, Ansar al-Sharia leader Ahmed Abu Khattalah:

More from CNN justice reporter Evan Perez:

Federal agents and prosecutors investigating the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi have filed charges against Ahmed Khattalah, leader of a Libyan militia that officials believe was involved in the assault, people briefed on the investigation said. The charges under seal are the first criminal counts to emerge from the probe.

With the anniversary of the attack looming, the Justice Department has come under criticism for the lack of public progress in the case.

The Justice Department and the FBI declined to comment on the charges. The agencies prohibit commenting on matters that are under seal. It couldn’t be learned when the U.S. plans to announce the charges and whether there are any plans to try to detain Khattalah.

What took so long?

Does this mean the White House is finally ready to acknowledge that Benghazi is not a “phony scandal”?

Fat chance. Speaking this afternoon in Arizona, Obama doubled down:


Editor’s note: This post has been updated with additional tweets.

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