If nothing else happens in the upcoming Benghazi hearings, it will be interesting to watch the chairman of the select committee, House member Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican and former prosecutor. After be named yesterday by House Speaker John Boehner, Gowdy addressed Democrats by saying critics shouldn't prejudge the hearings as partisan.
Gowdy told Fox’s Greta Van Sustern on her program,“On the Record,” that "Washington is its own ecosystem. They wouldn't like it if I cured malaria tonight, because I'm a Republican." He was obviously referring to Democrats like Rep. Adam Schiff of California who scoff at the new hearings. Gowdy said, "At least let us have a hearing before you judge it." Rep. Schiff is in favor of boycotting the hearings.
The two congressmen are both former prosecutors. Ironically, Gowdy was hired by Bill Clinton’s administration and Schiff by the Bush administration. "That's what I love about the justice system. She wears a blindfold for a reason," Gowdy said."
The newest Benghazi hearings follow several House committees that have held separate hearings on the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012. The select committee essentially combines all the other committees’ powers into one has been on the Republican’s agenda for months. The latest emails held back by the White House that were divulged by the Freedom of Information Act by Judicial Watch sparked the call for immediate hearings.
That now infamous email, written by White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, advised then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to talk about the video, rather than terrorism, when appearing on the five Sunday news programs to discuss the attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Boehner was overwhelmed by demands for new hearings. Many lawmakers feel the White House feared that a terror attack so close to President Barack Obama's re-election bid would hurt his chances with voters. He had recently said very publicly that his administration has “al Qaida on the run.”
Rep. Gowdy told Van Susteren he will incorporate all past committee’s activities and evidence into his hearings. That will also include documents that have not yet been released. "I'm not interested in redacted documents," he added.
Columnist George Will told Fox News describing the South Carolina lawmaker, “Gowdy can't be accused of being a "careerist" since he doesn't even really want his job. He wants to go back to Spartanburg and play golf and raise his two children. He’s always said 'I'm a prosecutor and not a politician,' which is why he's well-cast in this role."
Unfortunately for Gowdy, should his committee perform to the effectiveness he has had behind the scenes in the Benghazi situation, he may become quite famous in Washington. Some are already calling him “vice presidential timber.”
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