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Gowdy Carries ‘Confidence’ of Boehner and Hopes of Right as Benghazi Chairman

The former prosecutor tapped to lead special committee isn't one of the speaker's allies and once called the minority leader “mind-numbingly stupid."

by
Bill Straub

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May 10, 2014 - 11:22 pm
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WASHINGTON — The lawmaker chosen to lead the House panel investigating the 2012 Benghazi tragedy is an unabashed supporter of the Tea Party movement who still considers himself more of a prosecutor than a professional politician.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) was tabbed to fill the chairmanship of the newly formed select committee to investigate the State Department’s handling of the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that led to the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Several House and Senate committees have been delving into the events surrounding the attack and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had exhibited reluctance about forming a special committee. He decided to proceed on May 2, asserting that the White House is so “intent on obstructing the truth about Benghazi that it is even willing to defy subpoenas issued by the standing committees of the people’s House.”

“Four of our fellow citizens were murdered, and a facility emblematic and representative of our country was attacked and burned on the anniversary of 9-11,” Gowdy said. “Our fellow citizens are full well capable of processing the truth about the attacks and aftermath, and most assuredly entitled to hear it.”

Twenty months after the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks, Gowdy said, unresolved questions remain about inadequate security, the U.S. response and the government’s interaction with the public after the attack.

“All of those lines of inquiry are legitimate and should be apolitical,” Gowdy said. “Facts are neither red nor blue.”

The House on Thursday voted 232-186 along party lines, Republicans forming the majority, to investigate all policies, decisions and activities that contributed to the attacks on U.S. facilities in Libya and affected the ability of the U.S. to prepare for the onslaught. The committee also is empowered to look into the Obama administration’s efforts to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators and gather information related to lessons learned from the attacks.

“This resolution equips the select committee with the scope and tools necessary for the seriousness of this investigation,” Gowdy said after the vote. “We are charged with a clear mission — uncover all the facts and provide answers to the American public. While people are free to draw different conclusions from the facts, there should be no debate over whether the American public is entitled to have all of the facts. As chairman, my goal is to conduct an inquiry that is rooted in fairness, is fact-driven and worthy of the trust of the American public, regardless of one’s political affiliation.”

The choice of Gowdy to lead the special committee is interesting from several perspectives. The lawmaker and Boehner, who plucked Gowdy from the ranks of the 233 GOP members of Congress to lead it, are not considered close. Gowdy told Politico in May 2012: “I don’t know the speaker well.”

While Boehner is viewed as representing the Republican Party establishment, Gowdy has a reputation as a conservative bomb-thrower, earned as a result of his frequent vituperative questioning of Obama administration officials at committee hearings. Gowdy is a darling of the Tea Party, a movement that scorns the speaker as being too willing to compromise.

Gowdy has not always, in fact, followed Boehner’s lead. He was among those who lined up to oppose Boehner’s proposal to end the debt limit crisis in 2011 and wound up voting against the final agreement. He was a frequent attendee at a dinner group that featured Republicans with Tea Party ties, fellow lawmakers like Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), where they discussed ways to force the GOP leadership to be more forceful in pushing the party’s agenda.

But in appointing Gowdy, Boehner characterized him as being as “dogged, focused and serious-minded as they come.”

“His background as a federal prosecutor and his zeal for the truth make him the ideal person to lead this panel,” Boehner said. “I know he shares my commitment to get to the bottom of this tragedy and will not tolerate any stonewalling from the Obama administration.”

Gowdy carries “the confidence of this (Republican) conference,” Boehner said, adding that the lawmaker’s “professionalism and grit will earn him the respect of the American people.”

But choosing Gowdy opens Boehner and the select committee to charges that they are staging something less than the “apolitical” investigation Gowdy promised since he already has drawn conclusions and publicly stated his views about the administration’s actions related to Benghazi.

On May 5, during a House Oversight & Government Reform Committee  hearing, Gowdy cited a State Department email regarding Benghazi, stating “this is Sept. 12, Mr. Chairman, this is well before the administration began misleading the American people.”

Furthermore, citing an email from Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser, to Susan Rice, the former U.N. ambassador and current national security advisor, seeking to shape the way she addressed the Benghazi situation, Gowdy said: “The goal was to do everything we can to deflect attention away from this feckless foreign policy we have in the Middle East that isn’t working.”

On May 2, before the Boehner appointment, Gowdy told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News that he holds evidence of “a systematic, intentional decision to withhold certain documents from Congress” regarding Benghazi and what he views as an ongoing White House cover-up.

Such statements have not escaped the attention of the House Democratic leadership, which is weighing the possibility of simply boycotting the special panel by refusing to appoint members of the minority.

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Top Rated Comments   
Interesting comments this morning! The select committee Gowdy is heading up will be looking for the truth leading up to the tragedy (murder) of Benghazi. What happens after? Not so much IMO. Who gave Susan Rice her talking points will be the least of the White House's problems IF the truth of why our Ambassador was in Benghazi that night comes to light. I'm nearly convinced that is what will sink this administration.

19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Gowdy is a darling of the Tea Party, a movement that scorns the speaker as being too willing to compromise."

"The speaker" either is or isn't too willing to compromise. It isn't some "movement" that determines that.

Likewise, Nancy Pelosi either is or isn't "mind-numbingly stupid".

It is far more meaningful, as well as accurate, to describe Trey Gowdy as a very smart, truth telling congressman (very rare) than a tea party congressman.

19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Trey Gowdy, you must attack the usurping tyrant boldly on all fronts and at all times and at this you must not flag nor fail. You must never succumb to the siren call of the regime’s propaganda ministers that will permeated the television waves. You must not bargain with the tyrant and his propaganda ministers and gutter rats. You must not try to reason with them as the tyrant and his gaggle of lying lackeys and deranged dingbats will grant no quarter to you and if they can, they will destroy you and your family and all of America without remorse.

You must follow the tyrant Hussein Louie Benito Hugo Isuzu Obama to the inmost recesses of his mind and made him fear and dread the very sight and sound of you. You must never let up and you must make the Child Emperor’s fear of you permeate his thoughts from when he first rises in the morning until he retires at night, where he will be allowed only a brief respite in between his nightmares as his day of reckoning approaches. You must make the tyrant howl.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (89)
All Comments   (89)
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Watch what happened on 9/11/12: http://youtu.be/dwDAM2tOsAM
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yo Trey...Please don't screw it up.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think you can tell quite a bit about a man by what he names his dog(s). In this case, they're "Judge, Jury and Bailiff." Gowdy can command "Judge" to be quiet, "Jury" to roll-over. and "Bailiff" to sick 'em!

19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think Boehner and Cantor have suddenly done a 180 here, trying to save their own a$es by hitching their wagons to a star. More's afoot than meets the eye here..
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
There truly is more than meets the eye her. Gowdy has yarbles & Boehner only wants to keep the pork coming & live off of the demos scrapes. Old weepy John is trying to make himself look like something he is not-namely a conservative. He is a completely worthless inside the beltway RINO that will fold the minute he gets any criticism. What a wimp! The man has no courage or character & only wants to use Gowdy.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is the second comment meant as a Reply--and I was more carful in selecting that button this time--that did not end up where it should have, i.e., as a response to Harry Voyager below. What am I missing?
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
To jaydee007: Thanks for the opportunity to reprise this. One of the finest moments in video of my lifetime. (Apparently I inadvertently clicked the wrong button.)
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
What this article fails to understand is that Trey Gowdy is Honesty Punctuated by Backbone!
He's willing to call it as it is and leave the euphemisms behind.
Just watch how he deals with the MSM...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1jeJmeeMjs
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am sick of the Rick Moran style of writing, which weasel word's digs at alpha male Republicans.

Forget this RINO nonsense. It's a phrase that pins an "I have the IQ of a dirt clod" message to the back of the utterer. How can one be "establishment Republican" and "Republican in name only" at the same time? It is so stupid, anyone arguing it is automatically unworthy of the time it takes to explain to them that the notion is impossible to reconcile.

There ARE alpha and beta (mostly male) Republicans.

The beta male Republicans aren't quite footie Pajama Boys, they are more silk robe and calfskin slippers Republicans.

To suggest that Gowdy is "too Tea Partyish" or that the WOODSTOCK TOTALITARIANS won't approve or participate in exposing their coverups...is a rather bizarre approach to a scandal.

I don't give a Tinker's Dam how the perpetrators of a coverup feel about the intensity of the investigation and prosecution of a criminal scheme and obstruction of justice.

And I don't want a footie Pajama Boy or a Silk Robe Appeaser leading the investigation or prosecution. This is a job for an Alpha Male Republican. (And female)

The Silk Robers are fine for back room wonkism and when we need a soft sell.

I am going to vocally oppose the Moranification of Gowdy and this committee. If this comment isn't censored, it will be the first of many, I imagine. I think Silk Robers are fine for Blue and Purple states. I don't hate them.

They are just inappropriate for some tasks. I'm not going to make Spud Webb a center or Shaquille O'Neal a point guard.

I wouldn't draft Johnny Manziel as an offensive tackle or Ego Ferguson as a kick returner.

Horses for courses. When the Woodstock Totalitarians decide to act lawlessly, commit serial crimes and coverups...you put your toughest prosecutor on the case. Without apology or weasel worded digs at his toughness. Period.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe I missed something - Moran didn't write this bit of prose.

19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Read his post again; he refers to "Moran style of writing..." (emphasis mine).
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I read his post in it's entirety - yes - I get what CF was referring to. I think Straub deserves his own direct criticism for his RINO leanings. Many of the writers here on PJM are RINO - or lean RINO. They need to be called out individually. Well - unless we are going to refer to all RINO writing style on PJM Moranism.(?) And I can think of a few different ways of spelling that.

19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe Gowdy is the one WE (i.e., 60% of the country) have been hoping for.

It's been a long long time, but at last some real leaders are emerging.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good luck to Congressman Gowdy; may he be true, intrepid, dogged, and run his committee with integrity and strength. He is suddenly thrust into a position where he and his colleagues may do great good for the US and the rest of us..
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I suspect they are setting him up to fail, so they can blame it on the Tea Party, and at this point I don't really care. We have an administration that sent a bystander to prison to cover for its own fecklessness, and collusion at the highest levels of the democratic party to help the administration conceal their actions.

It is time to seek justice, not political expedience. The administration must be held accountable for their crimes.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I suspect they are setting him up to fail, "
----------------------------------------------------

My thoughts too. Why else would Boehner appoint a 'real' conservative? Which makes it all that much more imperative that he and the committee succeed. And I think he will.

If this country is to continue as a constitutional republic truth must prevail over lies and hyperbole.

19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think Boehner and Cantor have suddenly done a 180, trying to save their own a$$es by hitching their wagons to a star. More's afoot than meets the eye.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
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