“The calendar is the calendar …”
The long-awaited report of the House Select Committee on Benghazi will be released this summer, Committee Chair Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said Friday.
“We’re going to get the report out. It’ll be in the next month,” Gowdy told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet The Press Daily, adding that it would be published for certain before this summer’s political conventions.
“I can’t stop an investigation because an executive branch agency won’t give me documents, and we’re still owed documents,” Gowdy said.
The committee is investigating the 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed. The report is expected to be an item in the presidential campaign because of the actions of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who was Secretary of State at the time of the attacks.
Democrats have attacked the committee, saying that the panel’s more than two years of investigations are politically motivated and timed to impact Clinton’s chances in the election.
Asked whether the timing of the release would bring accusations of playing politics, Gowdy told reporters recently, “I don’t look at it that way.”
Instead, he said, “I look at it as whether or not you are going to conclude an investigation before you have talked to all the witnesses and accessed all the documents.”
“The calendar is the calendar,” Gowdy said. “But, you know, the flip side of that is to say, ‘Yeah, we were owed documents, and yeah, we had witnesses who came in at the last minute, but because we were afraid of media criticism because of some conventions coming up, we went ahead and shortened our investigation.’”
Administration delays have been blamed as a reason the report has taken so long.
“If we had had the cooperation of the State Department, the D.O.D., the C.I.A., you know, we could have gotten through this a lot quicker,” Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., said Wednesday. “But, you know, when you are waiting six, eight, 10 months on documents and they dump ’em 18, 20,000 at a time, it delays it.”