House Benghazi committee Chairman Rep. Trey Growdy (R-SC) bashed other GOP-led investigations into the 2012 terrorist attack in Libya on Thursday in an effort to defend the existence of his own.
The Select Committee on Benghazi has been under scrutiny since some Republicans suggested political motivations or effects of the investigation as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton runs for President.
In his opening remarks ahead of Clinton’s testimony on Thursday, Gowdy launched into the questions he said the committee sought to answer.
“Even after an Accountability Review Board and half a dozen congressional investigations, these and other questions still lingered. These questions lingered because those previous investigations were not thorough,” Gowdy said. “These questions lingered because those previous investigations were narrow in scope and either incapable or unwilling to access the facts and evidence necessary to answer all relevant questions.”
Prior to the formation of Gowdy’s special committee, other committees investigated the attack:
- House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
- Senate Committee On Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs
- Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
- House Committee on Foreign Affairs
- House Committee on the Judiciary
- House Committee on Armed Services
- House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Most of those committees were led by Republicans.
“You will hear there were previous congressional investigations into Benghazi. That is true. It should make you wonder why those previous investigations failed to interview so many witnesses and failed to access so many documents,” Gowdy said. “If those previous congressional investigations really were serious and thorough, how did they miss Ambassador Stevens’ emails?”
Democrats have pointed out that Stevens’ emails were available to the previous congressional investigations, including that of the Oversight Committee, of which Gowdy is also a member.
“If those investigations were serious and thorough, how did they miss Secretary Clinton’s emails?” Gowdy continued on Thursday. “If those previous congressional investigations were serious and thorough, why did they fail to interview dozens of key State Department witnesses including agents on the ground, who experienced the terrorist attacks firsthand?”