After more than a year of resisting the calls of a vast majority of his conference, Speaker John Boehner is relenting and forming a special committee to investigate the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya and resulting scandal.
“The administration’s withholding of documents – emails showing greater White House involvement in misleading the American people – is a flagrant violation of trust and undermines the basic principles of oversight upon which our system of government is built. And it forces us to ask the question, what else about Benghazi is the Obama administration still hiding from the American people?” Boehner said in a statement announcing the decision.
“The new emails released this week were the straw that broke the camel’s back,” a senior GOP leadership aide said. “The Speaker was furious to learn that the administration withheld relevant documents from a congressional subpoena. He’s sick and tired of this evasion and obstruction from the administration, and wants a solution to finally force accountability, get the truth, and provide justice.”
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon had also waged a high-profile battle against an oversight committee hearing yesterday, undermining the notion that the five committees investigating the issue were working together, Republicans close to the matter said.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) is under consideration to chair the special panel. Gowdy, a sophomore lawmaker and former prosecutor, has been an active participant in the House’s efforts to find out more about the issue.
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) has championed his proposal to appoint a select committee for over a year, and had obtained 190 Republican cosponsors on a bill to do so. Wolf had recently suggested Boehner was resisting the select committee because he had been briefed on unknown activities by the U.S. government that were occurring in Libya prior to the attack. Boehner is a member of a group of top congressional leaders regularly briefed on the actions of the intelligence community.