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Benghazi Hearings Likely To Last Through 2016

Benghazi 3

South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy, who has been named to head the House Select Committee investigating the Benghazi attack said this morning that his inquiry could easily last into the 2016 campaign season:

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said the special committee he’ll lead on Benghazi could continue into the 2016 campaign, when Hillary Clinton might be running for the White House.

Asked about that posibility Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Gowdy said the length of his work would depend on the administration’s level of cooperation.

“It would be shame on us if we intentionally dragged this out for political expediency,” said Gowdy, the special committee’s chairman. “On the other hand, if an administration is slow-walking document production I can’t end a trial simply because the defense won’t cooperate.”

Clinton is a key figure in the Benghazi story since she was the secretary of State when terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate in Beghazi, Libya. The attack left four Americans dead, including Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.

Some Democrats suspect Republicans want to keep Benghazi in the news to try to hurt Clinton if she runs for the White House in 2016, as expected.

Gowdy said a memo that came to light last week, in which Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes set out “goals” for the administration’s response, but which was not turned over by the administration earlier, was evidence of a cover-up.

He also told host Joe Scarborough that deputy CIA director Michael Morell changed the talking points about the attack to shield the administration.

“The memo I think is evidence of a coverup,” Gowdy said. “Joe, you also have to keep in mind every change that Mike Morell made to the talking points sanitized or immunized the administration from criticism.”

Morell has explained the removal of references to al Qaeda from the talking points by testifying that the sources used to connect the attack to al Qaeda-linked groups were classified.

He said his number one question, though, is why warnings before the attack were not heeded: “We were placed on actual notice that Benghazi is a dangerous place, why were we still there?”

An investigation with rather obvious political motivations that could still be going on in the middle of a Presidential election year? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mikey says:

    South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy, who has been named to head the House Select Committee investigating the Benghazi attack said this morning that his inquiry could easily last into the 2016 campaign season

    I’ve no doubt that’s the plan. Don’t be surprised when the committee’s report is released in early October of that year…just coincidentally, of course…nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  2. beth says:

    But of course, if Hillary Clinton is elected President, the hearings will continue through 2020.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 3

  3. stonetools says:

    @beth:

    This is even more incentive for Democrats to work to to retake the House. It’s the only way to shut this farce down.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  4. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    Transparent politics in a transparent age. When will mid-term voters get that staying home is no longer an option? “We didn’t know” is no longer an excuse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  5. Tillman says:

    Way to go on making the case that government is inefficient and wasteful, Mr. Gowdy.

    “The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.” – P.J. O’Rourke

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  6. Mikey says:

    @Tillman:

    Way to go on making the case that government is inefficient and wasteful, Mr. Gowdy.

    On the other hand, I’m sure Gowdy’s constituents have been inundating him with calls and emails demanding this. To them, the PPACA is proof government is inefficient and wasteful, while investigating Benghazi is a legitimate function of Congress.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  7. al-Ameda says:

    “It would be shame on us if we intentionally dragged this out for political expediency,” said Gowdy, the special committee’s chairman. “On the other hand, if an administration is slow-walking document production I can’t end a trial simply because the defense won’t cooperate.”

    Did the Daily Show writers for Jon Stewart issue this statement on behalf of Gowdy? Just a little more evidence that South Carolina should have been let go back in 1860.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  8. Tillman says:

    @Mikey: That’s the saddest part to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  9. anjin-san says:

    If you can’t get the “permanent majority” you were hoping for, I suppose a permanent investigation is the next best thing.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

  10. C. Clavin says:

    You would think that with the ongoing death spiral that Obamacare is in…the economic devastation it is creating…the total lack of paying enrollee’s it’s attracting…the Republicans wouldn’t have to resort to these silly conspiracy theories.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

  11. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    I forgot about the Doctors either refusing to treat patients, or going out of business altogether.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  12. dazedandconfused says:

    Pelosi made a statement asking for 50-50 Democrat/Republican make up of this committee. Might be smarter to simply boycott it. They have gone too far. Gowdy is a clown. Sack up and make a stand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  13. anjin-san says:

    I forgot about the Doctors either refusing to treat patients, or going out of business altogether

    Apparently a lot of them are getting out of medicine and becoming waiters. Put that together with the mass exodus of millionaires from the US, and you have a real problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  14. Mikey says:

    And, not surprisingly, there’s this:

    NRCC fundraising off of Benghazi

    Gowdy’s going to make some noises about how the NRCC shouldn’t do this, but that’s about it, and they’ll ignore him anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  15. beth says:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/206-house-republicans-benghazi-committee

    It’s going to take them until 2016 just to decide who gets to be on the committee.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  16. Anonne says:

    Will anyone other than Fox News still be paying attention in 2016? This will be an exhaustive fatigue and people will not pay attention. Hell, look how fast we moved on from the missing jet plane.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  17. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @C. Clavin: They’re not going out of business, they’re moving to South Korea because it’s the last place in the world that has a free market health care system.

    What? The government there not only controls what hospitals, doctors, and pharmacies can charge, but also taxes the citizens for national health insurance?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  18. rachel says:

    @Just ‘nutha’ ig’rant cracker: Why, yes, now that you mention it. It works pretty well for me, too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. jukeboxgrad says:

    It’s pure theatre for the crazy base. The effect will be to remind the rest of the country that the base is crazy (because Gowdy is going to do a good job of embodying the crazy rage of the base), and that the base is running the show in the GOP. It’s self-destructive overreach, just like the government shutdown. Please proceed.

    Obama blamed the video because the video was to blame. Link.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  20. Mu says:

    Of course, if the administration fully cooperates they will claim that they are so inundated with material they could impossibly finish before 2016.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  21. junkbox says:

    Morell told the House Intelligence Committee that in the agency’s analysis, “There was no mention of the video defaming the Prophet Muhammad as a motivation for the attacks in Benghazi. In fact, there was no mention of the video at all.” Rice’s viewers nonetheless heard of little else.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/the-benghazi-deniers-106498.html#ixzz31EJggzuZ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  22. jukeboxgrad says:

    There was no mention of the video

    You have to take that up with him. “The protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo” (words from the original CIA memo) is an obvious reference to the video, because those protests were undoubtedly about the video.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1