Rep. Trey Gowdy said Sunday that he is baffled that the previous seven congressional committees that investigated the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi failed to obtain emails U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens sent in the months before the attacks occurred.
“How did they miss Ambassador Stevens’ emails? None of the seven previous committees bothered to access the emails of our ambassador,” Gowdy said during an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Gowdy, the chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said that Stevens’ emails show that he requested additional security as soon as he was appointed the ambassadorship in June 2012. But the emails Stevens received from State Department officials indicated that the agency had other concerns. One email asked Stevens his advice on “political messaging” to help sugarcoat the dangerous situation in Libya. Another asked Stevens to vet an intelligence report that then-Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s friend, Sidney Blumenthal, sent her.
Gowdy cited the emails in response to recent attacks from Democrats who claim its Benghazi investigation is aimed at hurting former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s White House bid.
Democrats have argued that the Select Committee is pointless, since seven House and Senate committees have already investigated the State Department’s and White House’s posture before the attack and its response after.
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Committee on Armed Services, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Committee on the Judiciary, and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform have all investigated the attack, which left Stevens and three other Americans dead.
But the fact that Stevens’ emails have only recently been uncovered shows that the previous investigations were not thorough, Gowdy asserted.
“If we want a window into Libya and what was happening in the weeks and months before these four were killed, why would you not look at the ambassador’s emails? He was a prolific emailer,” Gowdy said.