House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. reacts to a question during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., March 3, 2015.
Photo by Susan Walsh/AP

Despite his Benghazi panel past, Gowdy calls for Russia probe’s end


House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has joined the ranks of the Republicans who believes the investigation into the Russia scandal should end. CNBC reports:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Thursday rejected Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy’s call to abruptly end special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Gowdy, who is chairman of the House Oversight Committee, made the remarks to Rosenstein during a hearing on the Justice Department inspector general’s report into the federal probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The report found numerous examples of agent misconduct.

But Gowdy focused on the special counsel, which he said was being used by congressional Democrats as a fundraising tool. He admonished Rosenstein: “Whatever you got, finish it the hell up, because this country is being torn apart.”

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The congressman must realize how bad an argument that is. An ongoing federal investigation should end, not because it has run its course, but because of national divisions? Since when does our criminal justice system operate this way?

But even putting that aside, the irony of hearing Trey Gowdy, of all people, talk about the length of an investigation is a bit much.

The South Carolina Republican, of course, led the House’s Benghazi committee. As regular readers know, Gowdy and his panel were tasked with uncovering information about the deadly 2012 attack that six other congressional committees had already examined.

The result was a disaster. Gowdy’s Benghazi panel spent millions of taxpayer dollars chasing down bizarre conspiracy theories, asking questions that had already been answered, and pulling together evidence that had already been exhaustively reviewed.

The result was a committee that was needlessly partisan, needlessly secretive, and ultimately pointless. Even Republicans who hoped the Benghazi Committee would produce anti-Clinton fodder were left to wonder about the point of this lengthy and unproductive exercise.

Indeed, this probe was among the longest in American history, and when it comes to congressional scrutiny of specific individual events – Pearl Harbor, 9/11, the Kennedy Assassination, Watergate, etc. – the Benghazi investigation was the longest ever.

Despite the length of the effort, Gowdy’s investigation – unlike, say, the Mueller probe – led to no convictions, no guilty pleas, and no indictments.

Maybe Republicans should turn to someone else to call for the end of the special counsel’s investigation?

Scandals and Trey Gowdy

Despite his Benghazi panel past, Gowdy calls for Russia probe's end