The Democrats and White House’s worst nightmare is now reality. Feisty South Carolina Representative and former prosecutor Trey Gowdy was named Monday by House Speaker John Boehner to head a special committee investigating the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Boehner called the two-term congressman “dogged and focused.” Republicans have consistently accused the Obama administration of covering up details and defying Congress by withholding key evidence of that fateful day.
As expected, Democrats are screaming about the previous investigations they claim found little to support the cover-up theory. They insist that the GOP plans for a select committee is merely designed to energize the GOP base ahead of midterm elections.
Boehner was one of the last holdouts in formulating a select committee. But after the email that proved Susan Rice was indeed coached to lie about the cause of the attacks, Boehner announced he was going ahead with the committee. Obstructing the truth about the Benghazi attack is the obvious reason.
Meanwhile, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa accused the State Department of withholding emails from the White House related directly to the attacks. He had demanded the evidence both in writing and by subpoena. Now Issa has issued a subpoena to Secretary of State John Kerry to testify on the administration’s response to congressional investigations.
The Republicans are not doing this for political points. Quite the contrary. Such hearings usually promote negative accusations from the opposition about partisanship and abuse of power. But Boehner said, “Four Americans died at the hands of terrorists nearly 20 months ago, and we are still missing answers, accountability, and justice.”
Gowdy has impressed Republican leaders with his aggressive questioning of administration officials. He said Friday the evidence was "systematic, intentional" efforts by the Obama administration to cover the truth up.
The sizzling emails released last week in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit from the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch; have become the hot potato in the investigation. They were withheld for months as Democrats said all the “real” evidence had been released.
Hillary Clinton was U.S. secretary of state at the time of the attacks and has the most to lose with the new hearings. Although Democrats have accused Republicans of using the Benghazi investigations partly to focus criticism on Clinton, it may very well be the future cause for the derailing of her presidential bid.
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