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Mission Improbable: Trey Gowdy gets into Benghazi
Politico ^ | 5-4-2014 | John Bresnahan, Lauren French and Jake Sherman

Posted on 05/04/2014 9:58:23 PM PDT by smoothsailing

Mission Improbable: Trey Gowdy gets into Benghazi

By: John Bresnahan and Lauren French and Jake Sherman

May 4, 2014 04:44 PM EDT

Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans have decided to create a select committee to expand their investigation into the Benghazi attacks.

Beyond that, nothing is settled. In fact, Republicans may be going on something of a mission improbable to yield new information and turn up new clues in a wide-ranging probe that has already spanned 13 hearings, 25,000 pages of documents and 50 briefings.

There are questions about what the select committee will set out to do and what it can actually yield. And the man who will head the committee, South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy, will be following in the footsteps of no less than eight congressional committees in the House and Senate that have investigated the September 2012 attacks on a U.S. mission in Libya.

One thing is for certain: The Gowdy probe will last into the fall — keeping Benghazi in the news for the 2014 midterm elections. And it can serve to tarnish Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s name ahead of a potential 2016 presidential bid, though there’s no guarantee it will work. Democrats also claim it will serve as another way to rile up the GOP base as the picture surrounding Obamacare blurs — with enrollment numbers for President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement crossing the 8 million mark.

“The speaker has been extraordinarily patient, but it is clear the Obama administration is playing games,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who has played a high-profile role in the Benghazi probe via his seat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “The focus of the [Gowdy] committee should simply be to find the truth. It is out there, but the House is going to have to pry it out of the White House. The four investigating committees have done a good job finding parts of the truth. A select committee should bring it all together and find all the truth.”

The House leadership will have tighter control over picking the roster for this panel than over any of the disparate committees that have previously probed the attacks on the diplomatic outposts in Libya that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Gowdy’s committee will immediately take over top billing on Benghazi from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), whose Oversight and Government Reform Committee has led the way on this issue since October 2012. The sometimes unpredictable Issa has promised to cooperate with Gowdy’s effort, and GOP leaders are hopeful that will happen, although they will keep a close eye on cooperation between all the committees involved in this issue, said GOP sources.

Boehner will personally name all the Republicans to the select committee, and it is likely to include members from the four standing House panels that have already conducted Benghazi probes — Oversight and Government Reform, Armed Services, Foreign Affairs and Intelligence, according to GOP lawmakers and aides.

Based on precedent, there will most likely be between 10 and 20 members, with Republicans holding a big edge in the ratio of members over Democrats. There is some question about whether Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will even name members to the panel, which Democrats are already dismissing as a partisan joke designed to try to politically damage Clinton and Obama. A senior Democratic source said the party is already mulling over its choices.

For its part, the Obama administration dismisses the GOP effort to “get to the bottom of Benghazi” as nothing more than a big waste of time and taxpayer money.

Leadership staffers are drafting the resolution to form the Gowdy panel, using as a guideline previous select committees on Chinese spying, global warming and Hurricane Katrina. A draft of the resolution will be circulated inside the GOP leadership by early this week, the sources said.

“It’s not that unusual; they’re not that hard to put together,” said a Republican staffer close to the issue. “The biggest problem will be some of the classified information that the [select committee] will have to deal with.”

A number of Republicans, especially the more hard-line conservative, tea party-inspired junior members, are making their desire to serve on the Gowdy committee known to Boehner and the Ohio Republican’s top lieutenants, these sources said. Serving on the panel could be a plum position during an election year in which the issue is popular with the GOP base.

Names being floated for the select committee include Chaffetz and Reps. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) and Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), among others.

Logistics are also difficult. The select panel must hire staff with the proper security clearances to handle highly classified material from the CIA and other intelligence agencies and find suitable space and equipment on the House side of Capitol Hill.

The Gowdy committee will also be required to integrate a huge amount of data on the Benghazi attacks already generated by the other committees, especially Oversight, which has spent 18 months on the issue at this point.

Issa, who has garnered headlines if not praise for his handling of the Benghazi probe, issued a subpoena to Secretary of State John Kerry last week to demand why the State Department has failed to turn over documents sought by the California Republican’s committee. Kerry has until May 21 to respond to Issa’s subpoena, but White House officials said privately that Kerry is scheduled to be in Mexico. It’s not clear if Issa will sit on the Gowdy panel.

On top of all these challenges, two other questions remain for Gowdy’s select committee: What is the key goal, and by when?

The House will be out of session all of August and is expected to adjourn by early October so members can campaign for reelection.

That leaves 3½ months for the Gowdy committee to do its work and prepare a report for the House, if it is to have any impact by Election Day. The White House will most likely slow-walk its responses to the South Carolina Republican’s panel, although a subpoena to Clinton — considered likely by many Democrats and Republicans — would get huge media coverage.

Gowdy, a 49-year-old former federal prosecutor now serving in his second term, believes the same thing as many House Republicans: that the Obama White House is covering up the extent of its role in the explanation of the Benghazi attacks.

The Republicans are convinced that the White House, State Department and even the Pentagon are deliberately lying about what happened in the remote Libyan outpost. And they, as well as many hard-line conservative Republicans nationwide, believe that it is the Obama administration’s “Watergate moment,” one serious enough to jeopardize Obama’s hold on the Oval Office, as well as Clinton’s chances of ascending to the presidency should she run.

“Well, I have evidence that not only are they hiding [Benghazi information], there is an intent to hide it,” Gowdy said of the Obama White House during a Friday interview on Fox News. “I can’t disclose that evidence yet, but I have evidence that there was a systematic, intentional decision to withhold certain documents from Congress.”

Issa has issued eight subpoenas on Benghazi. Although more than 25,000 pages of documents have been turned over to congressional investigators, the State Department demands its documents be returned at the end of every workday, a cumbersome process that means hauling thousands of pages of documents back and forth every day between Capitol Hill and Foggy Bottom.

“This administration’s focus since that event has been on pursuing those who did harm to Americans, who killed Americans, and bringing them to justice, and taking action to ensure that the failures in security that helped cause this or lead to this event were addressed and changed,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Friday after word of the Gowdy select committee leaked.

White House officials privately dismiss as not revelatory the latest round of internal Benghazi emails turned over to the conservative group Judicial Watch in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Boehner, Gowdy, Issa and other House Republicans have complained that the failure by the White House to turn over those emails to Congress was the last straw and persuaded Boehner to create a select committee on Benghazi, something that he had refused to do since Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) first floated the idea in December 2012.

According to an Obama administration official, the White House never gave Republicans the emails because Congress never asked for them. A May 2013 subpoena from the Oversight Committee sought any communications between U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and a specific group of State Department aides. Rice did a round of interviews on the Sept. 16 Sunday shows following the Benghazi attacks, blaming the incident on reaction to an American-made anti-Muslim video, although Obama himself had already said it was a terrorist attack.

Yet the Oversight subpoena never mentioned senior White House officials like Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications or other senior White House aides who helped develop talking points for her Sept. 16 TV appearances. Administration officials did not believe they were legally required to release the Rhodes email to Oversight.

Congressional Democrats and White House officials say the Republicans are “constantly shifting the goalpost” on Benghazi. According to an administration official, Republicans said Obama didn’t label the Benghazi attack a terrorist attack, which wasn’t entirely accurate. Then Republicans asserted the White House “politicized” CIA talking points, which turned out not to be true either. At that point, some Republicans suggested the White House and Clinton ordered the Pentagon not to try to rescue Stevens and the other Americans trapped in the Benghazi outpost. That claim did not stand up to scrutiny either.

An Accountability Review Board report looked closely at actions of State Department officials related to Benghazi security requirements and warnings about a potential attack on the outpost, even though Republicans claimed top State Department officials didn’t come under scrutiny.

“The bottom line is this is a tragedy perpetrated by jihadists in Benghazi, not by diplomats in the State Department,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), an Oversight member and frequent Issa critic. “The conspiracy theories that somehow someone in the U.S. government had to be responsible have been proved totally false.”

Connolly added: “This is nothing but a crass attempt to energize their base because this issue polls well at the expense of the foreign policy interest of the United States. Shame on Speaker Boehner for finally giving it his blessing.”

© 2014 POLITICO LLC


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections; US: Ohio; US: South Carolina
KEYWORDS: benghazi; gerryconnolly; johnboehner; ohio; southcarolina; treygowdy

1 posted on 05/04/2014 9:58:23 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing
Whoa! Sounds like Politico has info that Trey Gowdy IS chairing the Select Committee.

Of course, they are obviously trying to justify what Obama and Clinton did--but their points are weak.

Man, I hope Boehner did pick Gowdy--love the sound of "the Gowdy Panel"!

2 posted on 05/04/2014 10:12:30 PM PDT by milagro (There is no peace in appeasement)
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To: milagro
OOPS--make that "GOWDY PROBE"!

Even better!

3 posted on 05/04/2014 10:14:08 PM PDT by milagro (There is no peace in appeasement)
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To: smoothsailing

Shame on this LIB fool conolly for “serving” in congress.


4 posted on 05/04/2014 10:14:58 PM PDT by ogen hal (First amendment or reeducation camp)
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To: milagro; smoothsailing
Expect a full tilt assault by the media to turn this into a story about Trey Gowdy in order to take the heat off Hillary. They are probably swarming Gowdy's home town (like they did to Sarah Palin) looking through every trial he prosecuted and every witness he ever prepped.

The media will work around the clock to defend Hillary and smear Gowdy.

5 posted on 05/04/2014 10:16:55 PM PDT by Baynative (How much longer will the media be able to prop up this administration?)
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To: smoothsailing
Pelosi just made the following announcement:

"I've been informed that the committee will have 25 members, with the Democrats getting 10. Accordingly, I am making the following appointments to the minority side:

1. Charles Rangel
2. Hank Johnson
3. Sheila Jackson Lee
4. James Moran
5. Eleanor Holmes Norton
6. Alcee Hastings
7. Barbara Lee
8. John Dingell
9. John Conyers
10.Bennie Thompson

In the event that one of the above is unable to serve, Maxine Waters has graciously offered to fill the seat."

6 posted on 05/04/2014 10:19:03 PM PDT by ken5050 ("One useless man is a shame, two are a law firm, three or more are a Congress".. John Adams)
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To: ogen hal

He’s as ridiculous as that clown Cummings.


7 posted on 05/04/2014 10:20:14 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: ken5050

LOL! No she didn’t! B^)


8 posted on 05/04/2014 10:23:32 PM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: smoothsailing

This is why Perry was demanding Cuomo debate him a few weeks ago. He knows thighness is Toast, and is gonna plow down her replacement as soon as is politically possible.


9 posted on 05/04/2014 10:27:30 PM PDT by txhurl (Trump/Cruz '16, and everybody else for Cabinet members.)
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To: ken5050

And Elijah Cummings will be screeching all the while with some blond lizard RAT backing him up.


10 posted on 05/04/2014 10:32:02 PM PDT by txhurl (Trump/Cruz '16, and everybody else for Cabinet members.)
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To: Baynative

“The media will work around the clock to defend Hillary and smear Gowdy.”

Like when they turned Ken Starr into Hitler?


11 posted on 05/04/2014 10:37:51 PM PDT by Luke21
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To: ken5050
LOL!

One question, though. IS Gowdy going to chair the Comittee? Haven't seen confirmation of that yet.

12 posted on 05/04/2014 10:38:49 PM PDT by milagro (There is no peace in appeasement)
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To: milagro

One question, though. IS Gowdy going to chair the Comittee? Haven’t seen confirmation of that yet.


I think it’s a done deal, but if not he really, really wants Lois Lerner behind bars, and he has the evidence to do that, if he can get around Holder.

In theory he could dispatch Gohmert to take up the Benghazi Chair, who would prosecute it as severely, being a judge.


13 posted on 05/04/2014 10:45:45 PM PDT by txhurl (Trump/Cruz '16, and everybody else for Cabinet members.)
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To: ogen hal

Connolly “represents” the district where I used to live. Before Congress he was Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors, and a Supervisor before that. All in 8 short years. I had been fairly active in politics and community affairs and had never heard of the guy, suddenly, he’s at the top of the local political heap. Basically, he’s a bureaucrat. Very calculating. Like Moran who “represents” the district next door, Connolly is a lefty New Englander. NOT by a long shot would I say he has the interest of Fairfax County or Virginia at heart.


14 posted on 05/04/2014 11:06:17 PM PDT by EDINVA
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To: milagro

Sounds like Gowdy got the nod, but FOX hasn’t been so informed apparently, which is odd, and Politico gets the story going with no confirmation from Boehner, nor Gowdy.

Even Politico doesn’t put it in terms of an announcement from Boehner of Gowdy heading the deliberation. No report yet that Boehner has assigned the chairman, actually. No press conference, nothing confirmed, nothing denied.

We live on hope in one hand and wishes in the other!


15 posted on 05/04/2014 11:15:24 PM PDT by RitaOK ( VIVA CHRISTO REY / Public education is the farm team for more Marxists coming.)
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To: smoothsailing

Sounds like the Committee hearings could be this summer’s entertainment. Bad timing for the Democrats.


16 posted on 05/05/2014 12:43:05 AM PDT by Cowboy Bob (They are called "Liberals" because the word "parasite" was already taken.)
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To: smoothsailing; Jim Robinson
Gowdy is about to discover reams of new facts.May he succeed overwhelmingly in apprehending the traitors who brought us Benghazi:

Distribution List Of ‘Smoking Gun’ Benghazi Email Included Muslim Brotherhood AGENT www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3152007/posts

ALSO

PING to Benghazi reveal, Muslim Brotherhood called to White House on 9/11/2012:

 photo mehdi_zps4dcf10f3.jpg

Medhi Alhassani:

•President of Muslim Students Association at George Washington University 2005-2006

•Intern at the White House and Department of State

•Fulbright Fellow in Jordan

•Member, Arab American Institute

•Occupation listed on FEC forms: Obama Campaign Staff

http://jaystreetcontributors.blogspot.ca/ jaystreetcontributors.blogspot.ca/

Also See:

www.truthandaction.org/muslim-brotherhood-agent-received-smoking-gun-benghazi-email/

17 posted on 05/05/2014 2:42:23 AM PDT by Candor7 (Obama fascism article:(http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html))
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To: smoothsailing
One thing is for certain: The Gowdy probe will last into the fall — keeping Benghazi in the news for the 2014 midterm elections. And it can serve to tarnish Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s name ahead of a potential 2016 presidential bid, though there’s no guarantee it will work.

So this is going to be the liberal media ploy...that this is all just an election tactic.

Nevermind the fact that there is documentation that the video excuse was an election tactic by Obama. Or that an ambassador was killed. Or that this is part of a pattern of obfuscation by this administration (of which has interfered with the full prosecution of Fast & Furious)

18 posted on 05/05/2014 3:21:15 AM PDT by kidd
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To: smoothsailing

If Politico has written this they are very very worried


19 posted on 05/05/2014 3:48:16 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: smoothsailing

"After my re-election this week, I will have more flexibility, my lord
and will shut down all investigation, as before."

20 posted on 05/05/2014 3:54:28 AM PDT by Diogenesis
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To: ken5050

Is that true or are you pulling our legs? The combined I.Q. of this bunch is about 70.


21 posted on 05/05/2014 3:57:40 AM PDT by MayflowerMadam
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To: smoothsailing

Mark my words: nothing will happen because of this committee’s investigation. No one’s going to jail. Nothing will be revealed that most people will care about.

Washington plays games to make us rubes in the hinterlands think someone will be held accountable and pay a price for their malfeasance. But nobody ever pays a real price. They usually get “fired” and moved to a cushy job somewhere else.

The whole town is rotten to the core.


22 posted on 05/05/2014 4:37:43 AM PDT by EricT. (Everything not forbidden is compulsory.)
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To: smoothsailing

Benghazi Victim’s Uncle Reacts To Latest E-Mail

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjqKgi-djHk#t=189


23 posted on 05/05/2014 4:57:44 AM PDT by Hotlanta Mike ("Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish - too much handling will spoil it." Lao Tzu)
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To: milagro
One question, though. IS Gowdy going to chair the Comittee? Haven't seen confirmation of that yet.

+1
24 posted on 05/05/2014 6:25:23 AM PDT by Resettozero
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To: Hotlanta Mike
WOW! Thank you for linking to this video. it needs to go viral--especially the question:

"Why was there such a high presence of CIA operatives in Benghazi? What was the Admin up to??????

25 posted on 05/05/2014 6:59:27 AM PDT by milagro (There is no peace in appeasement)
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To: Luke21
"The media will work around the clock to defend Hillary and smear Gowdy."

Exactly - And here's something to think about:
#1. The State Department and DOJ is purposely not bringing in murder suspects because they know that investigators would ask them about thevideo and they would know nothing. They wouldn't be able to say what it was about, say how it was depicted or identify any scenes that they found offensive.
#2. If the video was on YouTube it would be very easy for investigators to look back and see how many times the video was actually viewed before the attack and even where the users who viewed it were.

How Team Hillary even came up with this excuse is a main point that should be identified.

26 posted on 05/05/2014 7:26:48 AM PDT by Baynative (How much longer will the media be able to prop up this administration?)
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