Benghazi Committee Chairman Says Look at Actions, Not Words— And Democrats Agree
WASHINGTON— Today, Benghazi Select Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy tried to explain away Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s confession on Fox News that the core Republican goal in establishing the Benghazi Committee was always to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and never to conduct an even-handed search for the facts. As Chairman Gowdy said: “I would just encourage people to look at what is done as opposed necessarily to what is said.”
So, here are the facts about what the Select Committee has done to date:
- The Select Committee was given an unlimited, taxpayer-funded budget, and it has now spent more than $4.5 million in one of the longest and least productive investigations in congressional history—focused on Hillary Clinton.
- The Select Committee’s webpage shows that 22 of the past 27 press releases have focused on Hillary Clinton.
- The Select Committee’s first witness request was for Hillary Clinton.
- The Select Committee has officially released documents only one time in the past 17 months—Hillary Clinton’s emails with an associate who was not employed by the State Department.
- The Select Committee has held only three hearings to date—it’s fourth will be with Hillary Clinton.
- The Select Committee abandoned its plans to obtain public testimony from Defense Department and Intelligence Community leaders.
- The Select Committee has never held one hearing with anyone from the Department of Defense.
- The Select Committee has only held one hearing with a representative from the Intelligence Committee – the CIA’s head of Legislative Affairs.
- The Select Committee will have interviewed or deposed eight current and former Clinton campaign staffers by October 22.
- The Select Committee has conducted only four interviews with Defense Department witnesses.
- The Select Committee excluded Democrats from interviews of witnesses who provided exculpatory information that debunked Republican conspiracy theories.
- The Select Committee sent armed Marshals to serve a subpoena on longtime Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal despite the fact that he was completely cooperative and had no direct knowledge of the Benghazi attacks.
- The Select Committee asked Blumenthal more than 160 questions about his relationship and communications with Clinton, but fewer than 20 questions about the Benghazi attacks; more than 50 questions about the Clinton Foundation, but only 4 about security in Benghazi; and more than 45 questions about David Brock, Media Matters and affiliated entities, but no questions at all about Ambassador Stevens or other personnel in Benghazi.
- The Select Committee blocked the public release of Blumenthal’s deposition transcript after he answered hundreds of questions about his emails with Hillary Clinton.
- The Select Committee Chairman explained that he “never expected Witness Blumenthal to be able to answer questions about the attacks in Benghazi, Libya.”
- The Select Committee began leaking inaccurate information almost immediately after the interview with Cheryl Mills, despite orders by the Chairman that it be treated as if it were classified.
- The Select Committee Chairman refused to investigate or condemn a leak in which Politico was forced to correct a front-page story that relied on apparently doctored information about an email produced to the Select Committee.
- The Select Committee is being used by Republican fundraisers to attack Hillary Clinton.
- The Select Committee Chairman was scheduled to appear as a “special guest” at a Texas fundraiser for Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio.
- The Select Committee Chairman’s name, image, and position was used to solicit political donations by Stop Hillary PAC, which describes itself as “created for one reason only—to ensure Hillary Clinton never becomes President of the United States.”
- The Select Committee’s attacks on Hillary Clinton were described by the conservative PAC America Rising as a taxpayer-funded political activity: “This has all occurred without a single cent of paid advertising taking place.”
- The Select Committee does not plan to release its findings until “just months before the 2016 presidential election.”
- The Select Committee has been criticized by conservative commentators: “Whatever the findings are in this investigation—it will forever be plagued by allegations of unfairness, and politics if this investigation is dragged into 2016. That would not be fair to the American people.”