Dismissing charges that the House select committee investigation of the attack on the American outpost in Benghazi is politically motivated, U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the panel, indicated Wednesday that the final report may not be released until just before the 2016 presidential election.
Appearing on Fox News’ “On The Record,” the South Carolina Republican said those who claim the committee is out to disparage Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton may be jumping to conclusions.
“That assumes the report would be critical of [Clinton] and I don’t make that assumption because we’re still in the process of gathering facts,” he said. “If the report is not critical of her, then she would probably want it to come out closer to the election but it’s not going to come out in the middle of 2016.”
“I hope it doesn’t come out in 2016, period,” Gowdy added. “I hope we are done before the end of the year and I say hope because there are certain variables that I cannot control.”
In a statement released Wednesday, Hillary for America Campaign Chairman John Podesta attacked the credibility of the committee, saying its investigation would exceed the Kennedy Assassination, Watergate and 9/11, Fox News reported.
“Sadly, Republicans are determined to continue to exploit this tragedy in an effort to try and hurt her campaign,” Podesta said in the statement.
Gowdy stressed the timing of the final report is being determined in part by the Obama administration’s willingness to produce documents and witnesses.
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According to Fox News, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters earlier in the day that the panel could conclude “a whole lot quicker” if the White House and Clinton would cooperate more.
“The administration has made it virtually impossible to get to the facts surrounding Benghazi,” he said. “And so when we have the facts, we’ll have a report.”
Looking to social media, there are plenty who support Gowdy’s effort and are hoping he can get to the truth — as difficult as that may be with this administration.
Here is a sampling of responses from Twitter:
@greta @TGowdySC @FoxNews if Hillary had come forward 2 years ago Gowdy wouldn’t have to keep after her. Simple Hillary come forward — Andy Jones (@andycapp48) April 22, 2015
@greta @SpeakerBoehner @BarackObama @HillaryClinton @FoxNews What are they hiding? Cmon if all is well they should be proud of what they do! — Joseph Borrelli (@joeborrelli1) April 22, 2015
@greta @TGowdySC @FoxNews GOOD LUCK getting documents! Hillary will just say again What difference does it make — Earleen (@earleenlynn) April 22, 2015
@greta @TGowdySC @HillaryClinton @FoxNews Praise to Rep.Gowdy for a great effort. Sad that he has to deal w/ such a corrupt admin. — Jeffrey Zalesny (@jwz5858) April 22, 2015
@greta @TGowdySC @FoxNews We all know O/Admin will never give U want U want. Would expose truth. What’s your Plan B? This is a travesty. — ProudAmerican (@1776BetsyRoss) April 22, 2015
@greta @TGowdySC @HillaryClinton @FoxNews Subpoena Hillary Clinton, put her under oath. Why wait. Do it now. — Bart Day (@bartdaymd) April 23, 2015
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