House Benghazi Select Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said Wednesday he won’t be deterred by Democrats on the committee who are trying to undermine the investigation.
Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the panel’s top Democrat, has accused Gowdy of operating a “partisan investigation” over the past eight months by holding secret meetings with witnesses and then withholding or downplaying information from those interviews “that undermines allegations the committee is investigating.”
In Wednesday letter to Gowdy, the committee’s five Democrats objected to his plan to go forward with 22 “unilateral and unnecessary” subpoenas to State Department officials without any committee debate or vote.
But Gowdy said that Democrats have refused multiple times to accept a negotiated rules package over demands for veto power over subpoenas. He added he’s tried to work out a compromise but that Democrats have refused.
“I am unwilling to let the minority party veto subpoenas when it is clear they have prejudged the outcome of the investigation,” Gowdy said. “The minority has repeatedly indicated it is unwilling to issue any subpoenas. If subpoenas are necessary for the committee to talk to relevant witnesses or access relevant documents, they will be issued.”
Gowdy went On the Record with Greta Van Susteren Wednesday night to talk about the dispute with Democrats on the panel, and his intention of interviewing Hillary Clinton as soon as the State Department produces “the documents, cables and emails” he’s requested.
“I have questions on all three tranches,” Gowdy told Greta. “Starting with the designation of our facility in Benghazi which met no security standards whatsoever – so – why was it open?” Gowdy noted that it’s part of a Sec. of State’s job to personally review the security of these facilities.
He also said he would ask about how she answered her “3:00 phonecall.”
“I think it’s fair to ask, ‘Madam Secretary what did you do during the pendency of those attacks.'”
And finally, he would ask about the talking points and why Susan Rice went on the Sunday talk shows to push a false narrative instead of her.
As for the Rep. Cummings’ complaint that Republicans on the committee have been meeting with witnesses “in secret” Gowdy countered that the Democrats have almost certainly been doing the same – with Hillary Clinton herself, for example.
Gowdy explained that there are some whistleblowers who don’t want to go on the record with what they know – (presumably out of fear of retaliation from the Obama administration.)
“When somebody comes up to you and says, ‘I will only talk to you, I will not give my name, I don’t want to be a witness but I do want you to know what I have…’ my choice is to either say ‘I’m not interested to hear what you have’ or my choice is to violate their confidentiality and their security…”
The Select Committee on Benghazi chaired by Rep Trey Gowdy is taking place Tuesday morning and can be viewed live on CSPAN.
Here is the opening statement by Rep Gowdy, complaining about the slow pace of the investigation due to the State Department’s stonewalling.
Gowdy grilled Asst. Deputy Sec of State Joel Rubin.
On Wednesday, Republicans in the House passed a bill that funds DHS for the rest of the year, but stipulates that none of the funds may be used for Obama’s executive amnesty.
Obama has of course, vowed to veto the bill, and with terrorism in the news again, Democrats are using national security as a way to hammer the GOP for allowing the DHS funding to lapse.
On the House floor, Wednesday, Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY) gave a “rousing” speech recalling the national unity that followed the terrorist attack of 9/11/2001. Speaking truth to power, he declared, “this bill is not about homeland security, it’s about Republicans political security!” (An amazing admission of what Dems know amnesty is all about, n’est pas?) He characterized the Republican bill to stop Obama’s executive amnesty as “an injustice to those who suffered on 9/11 and still remember that.” He continued, “for the first time in history they are holding security hostage to the ugly politics of immigration!” He went on like that for about five more excruciating minutes, of course eliciting enthusiastic applause from many of the same people who for eight years did everything they could to undermine national security under Bush.
When it was Gowdy’s turn to speak, he blasted Obama for his executive overreach on immigration reform.
“This, Madam Speaker, despite the fact that the very same president, over twenty different times, said he lacked the power to do what he just did.
And he repeatedly said he is not a king. Now, Madam Speaker, his position may have changed, after the election I hasten to add, but the Constitution has not.”
After a disruption on the House floor interrupted Gowdy’s speech for a few moments, he continued, and with the Democrats in mind, said, “I’ll back up in case they missed it,” which elicited grins from the reps behind him (Mia Love on the right, Scalise to his left – not sure who the guys directly behind him were.) Gowdy received enthusiastic applause when he implored Congress to stand up for the American people:
This is not a fight between Republicans and Democrats. This is not even a fight over immigration reform. This is a fight over whether this branch of government will ever find the courage to stand up for itself.
This same document that this and all presidents swears to defend gives this body certain tools – tools like the power of the purse. And it’s about damn time we use that tool.
Gowdy was one of the 67 congressmen who voted against the Cromnibus bill in December.
Last February, he told Jeanine Pirro on Fox News that congress could remove funding for Obama’s pet projects and vacations using the appropriations process.
People don’t like the Affordable Care Act but they don’t like our tactic of shutting down the government,” he said. “OK. Fine. We got that. We still have appropriation bills that are coming. So what we ought to do is say, Mr. President, you want to run roughshod over the Constitution, we have the power of the purse. We’re not going to fund your pet projects. We’re not going to fund your green energy initiatives. We are not going it fund your vacations.”
In March of 2014, Congressman Gowdy along with Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) introduced “the Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments of the Law (ENFORCE the Law) Act (ENFORCE the Law) Act (H.R. 4138) to rein in the growing problem of executive overreach and restore balance to the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution.”
The introduction of this bill follows the House Judiciary Committee’s careful consideration of the President’s failure to faithfully execute our laws. The Committee has held two hearings on this issue, at which members heard from constitutional scholars on the scope of this problem and legislative solutions. The House Judiciary Committee will markup the ENFORCE the Law Act tomorrow at 10:30am in 2141 Rayburn.
The bill passed the House on March 12 but died in the Senate. Now with a Republican controlled Senate, it should be taken up again.
In his opening statement, the head of a special House committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) promised to keep asking questions until he gets answers.
In reference to the false CIA talking points, he said, “it’s one thing to have it wrong initially and eventually make it right, it’s another thing to have it right initially and then edit it and change it to make it wrong.”
“I don’t think we should move on until there is a complete understanding how the (poor) security environment described by our own government in court documents was allowed to exist,” Gowdy said.
“I don’t think we should move on until — we were told special precautions had been taken prior to the anniversary of 9/11 – what precautions were taken? Where? By whom. Why were we told the Benghazi facility was secure? Why were we told there was a strong security presence in Benghazi when we no that was not true and it was not true when it was said.”
He asked why the Government’s story on the Benghazi attack has changed so much since the initial days and weeks after the attack.
“We may answer some [questions] more than once,” Gowdy concluded. “I would rather answer a question twice than risk not answering it at all. That would seem a rather small investment.”
Roskam Presses State Dept. on Diplomatic Security at Benghazi Hearing:
Trey Gowdy questioned Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic SecurityGregory B. Starr:
Conservative fave Rep. Trey Gowdy surfaced on the Kelly File Tuesday night to offer his thoughts on Grubby Gruber’s bombshell ObamaCare tape where he admitted Democrats used subterfuge to fool the “stupid American voter” and pass ObamaCare. Gowdy was in rare form, uncorking one zinger after another with blinding speed.
The South Carolina Republican began by telling Megyn Kelly that he couldn’t “even get past the irony to get to the arrogance” of the “most transparent administration since the continents shifted [having] to rely on artifice and deception to pass its signature piece of legislation.”
“You can’t make that up,” Gowdy said. “He had to lie to people, and then he justified it, so I can’t even get past the irony of that to even get to the arrogance of him calling our fellow citizens stupid.”
Kelly described the video as a “smoking gun and made the point that the American public has always disliked the law and complained that it was crammed down their throat, that there was dishonesty in the process, they were not told the full story – and now you’ve got the chief architect … of the law, saying, ‘yes, we had to lie because you are too dumb to know what’s good for you.”
Gowdy agreed, saying, “it’s really serious in a participatory democracy when you tell your fellow citizens that you’re either not smart enough to understand the truth or we can’t tell you the truth because you wouldn’t go along with it. Well, if you wouldn’t go along with it, maybe you shouldn’t pass the law.”
“Put down the cognac and the lost writings of J.D. Salinger,” he said. “If you want to see how stupid our fellow citizens are, take a look at last Tuesday night, because they rejected you, this bill and this administration.”
“They bounced out 28 Senators who voted for this law,” Kelly noted as she launched into an impassioned soliloquy; “Mr Gruber thinks the American public is stupid and yet they are smarter than he thinks because they doubted his assertions at the time, and they’ve doubted his assertions ever since so despite his efforts to pull the wool over their eyes, they have been on to these deceptions for a long, long time. This law has never had the majority support of the American people. And yet it is on the books – they are stuck with it. And now people want to come out and say it doesn’t matter what Mr. Gruber said, all that matters is we have this wonderful law that people should love and if they don’t, it’s because they’re stupid.”
“Keep this in mind anytime anyone wants to sell you any, quote ‘Comprehensive’ piece of legislation.” Gowdy advised. “Comprehensive is Latin for ‘there’s lots of bad stuff in here.'”
Asked if the president should repudiate Gruber’s remarks, Gowdy said he would love for Obama, “whom I saw in his purple jacket over in China,” to repudiate Gruber’s words and actions.
Linked by Doug Ross, thanks!