On Friday afternoon Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy revealed the State Department had finally complied with subpoenas for documents issued last year. Gowdy’s press release says State turned over “1,100 pages of records, including files stored on network folders used by senior employees within the Office of the Secretary, and emails from Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, Huma Abedin, Susan Rice, and Patrick Kennedy.” Gowdy also took a swipe at Democrats who he says “never lifted a finger” to help get the records.
It is deplorable that it took over a year for these records to be produced to our committee, and that our Democrat colleagues never lifted a finger to help us get them. Shame on them and everyone else who has demanded this committee to give up before gathering all of the facts. This investigation is about a terrorist attack that killed four Americans, and it could have been completed a lot sooner if the administration had not delayed and delayed and delayed at every turn. For example, the committee still does not have records we requested over a year ago, and we are still waiting for some witnesses to be made available for interviews. As soon as possible, we will release our report and interview transcripts so everyone can see the evidence for themselves, and I’m confident the value and fairness of our investigation will then be abundantly clear to everyone.”
Today’s production is responsive to a request made by the Select Committee in November 2014, and subpoenas issued in March 2015 and August 2015, and includes work-related emails from the personal email accounts of Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and Huma Abedin, which the State Department has had since summer 2015.
Prior to today’s production, the Select Committee had already obtained and reviewed more than 72,000 pages of documents never before seen by a congressional committee. Just recently, the Select Committee received more than 1,600 pages of documents from the Office of the Secretary of State and gained access to crucial CIA records it sought for nearly a year. After months of negotiations with the White House, the Select Committee was finally able to question both Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes, which no other congressional committee had done.
Yesterday the Select Committee interviewed its 90th witness: General Philip Breedlove, former Commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa. This was the 71st witness who had never before been interviewed about Benghazi by a congressional committee, and the 35th witness interviewed since the Select Committee’s public hearing in October 2015.
Gowdy has been fighting with Democrats on the committee, led by ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, for months. Last month Gowdy refused to hand over documents generated by the committee after Cummings failed to promise the information would not be selectively leaked to the media.
The Select Committee plans to release its complete findings this summer.