Trey Gowdy to lead House’s search for truth on Benghazi

Trey Gowdy

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced this afternoon that Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) will lead the select committee to investigate the deadly 2012 attack on the American outpost in Benghazi, Libya.

“With four of our countrymen killed at the hands of terrorists, the American people want answers, accountability, and justice,” Boehner said in a statement. “Trey Gowdy is as dogged, focused, and serious-minded as they come. His background as a federal prosecutor and his zeal for the truth make him the ideal person to lead this panel.”

Boehner announced plans to hold a vote, which could come as early as this week, to establish a select committee on the Benghazi attack, a decision was spurred by the disclosure of previously unreleased emails between White House and Obama administration officials.

“I know [Gowdy] shares my commitment to get to the bottom of this tragedy and will not tolerate any stonewalling from the Obama administration. I plan to ensure he and his committee have the strongest authority possible to root out all the facts. 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,” Boehner added.

Gowdy, who is popular with the conservative movement due to his outspoken demeanor, may not be able to count on the White House’s cooperation. Press Secretary Jay Carney was noncommittal when he was asked whether the White House would work with the House in the latest Benghazi investigation, claiming it is “so partisan in nature.”

Among the emails was correspondence from then-White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes directing then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice “[t]o underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy” when she appeared on Sunday talk shows following the attack. Another email obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform reveals that the State Department blamed Islamic militants just hours after the attack.

“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. All of those lines of inquiry are legitimate and should be apolitical,” Gowdy said in a statement of his own. “Facts are neither red nor blue.”

Gowdy is part of an informal working group comprised of a handful of House Republicans who are reviewing statements and testimony about the attack to look for contradictions from witnesses. The members of this working group — which also includes Reps. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Adam Kinsinger (R-IL), and Devin Nunes (R-CA) — could comprise much of the select committee on Benghazi.

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