House Republicans have tapped Representative Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), a former Federal prosecutor, to lead a select committee that will investigate the September 2011 terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya, which led to the deaths of four Americans.
“Twenty months after the Benghazi attacks, there remain unresolved questions about why the security was inadequate, our response during the siege itself, and our government’s interaction with the public after the attack,” Gowdy said Monday. “All of those lines of inquiry are legitimate and should be apolitical.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) both noted that Gowdy’s background make him the perfect Republican to lead what is sure to be a high-priority investigation for the party in coming months.
“I commend the selection of Congressman Trey Gowdy as chairman of the select committee. I can think of nobody better than Trey to spearhead this effort. Trey is trusted among his colleagues and is a man of great integrity,” Cantor said in a statement. “His prosecutorial background will be an enormous value as he and his fellow committee members seek out the facts of what happened in Benghazi, Libya and how the administration responded to that terror attack.
“After years of obstruction, it’s time the American people finally get all the answers, and Trey will ensure that happens.”
In a separate statement announcing the appointment, Boehner expressed a similar sentiment.
“Trey Gowdy is as dogged, focused, and serious-minded as they come,” Boehner said in a statement announcing the appointment on Monday. “His background as a federal prosecutor and his zeal for the truth make him the ideal person to lead this panel.
“I know he shares my commitment to get to the bottom of this tragedy and will not tolerate any stonewalling from the Obama administration,” Boehner continued.
“I plan to ensure he and his committee have the strongest authority possible to root out all the facts,” he added. “This is a big job, but Rep. Gowdy has the confidence of this conference, and I know his professionalism and grit will earn him the respect of the American people.”
As it stands, Gowdy has his work cut out for him. Most of the rhetoric concerning the renewed Benghazi focus from the left echo remarks made this weekend by Democratic California Congressman Adam Schiff, who called the GOP’s establishment of a select committee to investigate American deaths in Benghazi a “colossal waste of time.”
And while the GOP has the numbers to push through a vote for the formation of the committee in the House, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) says he is already urging lawmakers to vote against the committee.
Politicians on the left have also signaled that they may refuse to participate in the House investigation even after the committee is formed.
It also looks like the White House is poised to stonewall the investigation.
“What I’m not going to speculate about is what the Republicans are up to,” Administration spokesman Jay Carney said when asked if the White House would cooperate. “It’s pretty blatantly apparent based on what they’ve said and even what other Republicans have said that this is a highly partisan exercise. But I’m not going to go further than that.”