Chairman Trey Gowdy of the Benghazi Select committee published a blistering response to the committee’s Democratic members Sunday. The letter was a direct reply to a letter Democrats sent to Gowdy last week.
Last week Democrats on the committee sent Chairman Gowdy a letter claiming they wanted to put politics aside and make the final report a bipartisan effort. At least that was the tissue-thin premise. Most of the letter seemed aimed less at creating a bipartisan working atmosphere than taking one more preemptive shot at the final report. In case you’ve forgotten, the letter said the final report would be, “the partisan capstone to the Select Committee’s two-and-a-half-year attack on Secretary Clinton.” Does that make it sound like they want to play nice to you?
Sunday’s response from Rep. Gowdy did not mince words calling the belated plea for bipartisanship “mildly amusing.”
Your May 31st letter was mildly amusing but not altogether surprising.
It is mildly amusing that after two years of abject obstruction, after two years of not lifting a finger to assist the Majority with the investigation, after two years of doing everything in your power to prevent a report from being written, you now want to participate in the drafting of the report. Any reasonable observer would conclude you want to “work” on the report solely so you can leak and mischaracterize the new facts you now acknowledge have been found as a result of this investigation. That is what you have habitually done in the past, which is precisely why you are currently able to read the recent transcripts of witness interviews but not possess them. You have become a serial leaker of information.
As to the allegation by Democrats that the committee has been a sustained attack on Secretary Clinton, Gowdy disagrees:
So whatever your motivation is for mischaracterizing this Committee as a “two-and-a-half-year attack on Secretary Clinton,” that allegation is not based in fact or reality. When the witness transcripts are released – and they will be – the public will be able to judge whose questions evidenced an obsession with the former Secretary of State and whose did not.
Consider these facts: the Majority did not publicize its August 2014 discovery of the former Secretary’s use of personal email for official government business, did not reveal its March 2015 subpoena of her Libya-related public records until she denied its existence, did not attempt to take possession of her private server, did not grant her IT staffer immunity in exchange for his testimony, and did not require her to raise her right hand in public prior to her testimony, instead administering the oath privately. The Majority also never promised a predetermined outcome to this investigation. Even Rep. Schiff recently conceded this Committee is not investigating the former Secretary’s private server. So while her emails have never been the focus of our investigation, it was necessary to obtain the ones related to Libya, and this Committee is the first and only Benghazi investigation to do so.
Finally, Gowdy suggests the Democrats’ efforts to undermine the committee’s work has already failed:
Despite your best efforts to prevent it from happening, actually talking to eyewitnesses and actually accessing relevant documents has produced new information. Sadly, if you had helped even a little bit we could have accessed this information sooner. But there is no statute of limitations on the truth. It took longer than I wanted, but we are finally going to be able to answer questions left unanswered by previous investigations.
Gowdy promises the Democrats they will be allowed to review the report and “offer changes in a manner consistent with the rules of the House.” The final report is expected to be released soon.