Trey Gowdy talked with Greta tonight about his plans for the House Select Committee to investigate Benghazi. Video below and snippets of the transcript.
GRETA: All right, you mentioned the classified documents. I’ve had a beef with Washington for however long I’ve been here. Seems like anytime anyone wants to hide anything, in any administration, Republican, Democrat, the trick is to classify it. Are you willing to go through the documents? Do you have the power to declassify any documents you think shouldn’t be kept from the american people.
GOWDY: Speaker Boehner is going to give us any power we need to get to the bottom of it. Jason Chaffetz was on another show today showing the discrepancy between two documents that were produced, ostensibly the same document, but this had redactions that that one did not have in it and that’s inexcusable when you live in a free and open society where you are supposed to have access to the truth and the facts…
GRETA: You told me right here that you have evidence that not only are they, meaning the Obama administration, hiding it, but there is an intent to hide it. I can’t disclose that evidence yet but there is a systemic, intentional decision to withhold certain documents from Congress. Will we see those documents?
GOWDY: Well, I can’t prove to you what I don’t know. I don’t know whether the documents have been destroyed. I know this, there are witnesses that have had the courage to come forth and share with us what was a systemic effort to take certain documents — take the ARB [Accountability Review Board], for instance — does anybody believe the ARB had access to all the documents and all of the witnesses? I don’t know anyone who believes that, so that necessarily undercuts any thing they may have found.
I’m tell you this, if a document exists, regardless of classification, we need to have access to it. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be public, but as you know, there is an over-classification to protect people’s reputations and people’s careers and that is not a legitimate classified document just because you are worried that it may hurt people’s feelings or ruin your career.
Greta asked if Gowdy will have access to the military’s “after action” report, as the ARB had only a summary report. Gowdy yes, he will see it and he says there is a very good reason you “can’t summarize evidence in front of a jury. The jury has the right to hear the question and judge the credibility of the witness. Their credibility can be impeached. I’m not interested in summaries, not interested in synopses. I’m interested in the document, the witness, and I’ll decide if the appropriate questions were asked in the past. With respect to the ARB — the Secretary of State was never interviewed by the ARB, so how can I tell your viewers whether or not she was aware that our facility had been attacked before in Benghazi, or that the British Ambassador had been attacked? How can I answer that question if the ARB never saw fit to even interview the Secretary of State?
Greta asked if he will “seek” to see the daily intel briefings from the CIA for the president on the 11th, 12th and 13th. Will you urge a disclosure of those?
GOWDY: I want to see every single, solitary, relevant material document. In fact, I want to see everything for which there can be any argument that it is relevant and then we can judge whether or not it is material. For all I know, the Intel Committee has already seen the documents you referenced, which is another reason the Speaker did what he did, because we’ve been fragmented, and what Intel knows, and Oversight, and Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security would not know.
Greta asked if he has “an end point” and has a date he thinks the investigation might be finished — before mid-terms, after mid-terms? Gowdy said he thinks the House Resolution will have an end date in it, but said that date has not been shared with him.
Gowdy said the State Department has not provided all that it should have provided to comply with the document request for 20 months “There is no judge in America that would allow you 20 months to comply with a subpoena.” He believes much depends on how willing the administration is to provide materials, witnesses and documents
GOWDY: With respect to politics, Greta, I would just say, there are certain things that have to transcend politics. I don’t mean to sound naive, but the murder of four fellow Americans and an attack on a facility that is emblematic of our country, should transcend politics, and I know that our fellow citizens can handle the truth, but only if they get access to it. They can draw their own conclusions about politics, who’s at fault, who’s not at fault, but they can’t do it if they have all the documents and all the witnesses.
Just my opinion here, but I believe Boehner finally agreed to this Select Committee now, because he faces a primary race tomorrow and people in his district have lost that lovin’ feeling.
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