Benghazi will return to the forefront of the national conversation on Wednesday morning when the special Republican-led committee to investigate the 2012 attacks kicks off its first hearing.
The House select committee, announced by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) in May, is chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), a former prosecutor.
Gowdy’s topic for the first hearing is an interesting one: investigate whether the State Department implemented recommendations by the independent Accountability Review Board after the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Libya, which left four Americans dead.
It comes after Democrats have lobbed repeated accusations that the committee is a partisan witch hunt against then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ahead of an expected presidential run. Gowdy recently fueled those concerns by suggesting that the probe may extend beyond 2015.
“As Chairman Gowdy has said, he is willing to risk answering the same question twice rather than risk it not be answered at all,” said Jamal D. Ware, a spokesman for the panel.
“Chairman Gowdy is leading a fair, fact-based and impartial investigation. The Committee will consider all evidence, across all jurisdictions, and produce the final, definitive accounting on behalf of Congress of what happened before, during and after the terrorist attacks on our facilities in Benghazi,” he said.
The seven Republicans on the select committee are Reps. Gowdy, Susan Brooks (IN), Jim Jordan (OH), Mike Pompeo (KS), Martha Roby (AL), Peter Roskam (IL) and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA).
The five Democrats are Reps. Elijah E. Cummings (MD), Adam Smith (WA), Adam Schiff (CA), Linda Sanchez (CA) and Tammy Duckworth (IL).