It’s been nearly four years since a September 11, 2012, raid on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, left four U.S. citizens dead, including an ambassador, and more than two years since the House of Representatives formed a special committee to investigate the attacks. The House's report on the events is coming soon – very soon.
It just might not be the whole report.
In an interview with Chuck Todd on "MTP Daily" Friday, committee chair Rep. Trey Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina, said he plans to release the much sought-after draft in June.
“We’re going to get the report out -- it will be in the next month,” Gowdy said, “and then I’ll let the reader know: This is what we’re missing, these are the agencies that haven’t produced it to us, and if witnesses come forward after the publication of our report, I’ll let the readers know that.”
Gowdy admitted that for “personal and professional reasons,” he would have rather the report come out last summer, but said he agreed with Todd that the committee owes it to voters to release it before the Republican and Democratic national conventions this summer, when the parties will meet to declare presidential tickets and shore up current and future agendas.
The delay, Gowdy said, was due to his committee’s lack of access to necessary documents and witnesses relevant to the investigation.
Democrats instead see the delay as a strategic maneuver to discredit Hillary Clinton, secretary of state at the time of the attacks, who Republicans labeled “as the official who should ultimately be held responsible for the failures in Benghazi,” according to the Washington Post. Clinton was considered the strongest contender for the presidential nomination when the committee was originally formed in 2014. Regardless of the controversy surrounding her involvement with Benghazi and her subsequent email scandal, she’s still ahead of GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump in early general election polls. Gowdy also endorsed Trump when asked about the candidate during the interview.
Gowdy said Friday the committee’s report will focus on three questions: “Why were we there, and whether or not the facility was sufficiently secure. What happened during the pendency of the attacks? And whether or not the American people were leveled with in the aftermath.”
“There’s going to be new information in all three tranches of Benghazi,” he told Todd, adding that the transcripts will also be available to the public. “I don’t want you to take my word for it. I want you to read it for yourself, and you can draw whatever conclusions you want to draw.”