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Published on May 18, 2016
After years of repeated Republican conspiracy theories that Secretary Hillary Clinton or others ordered the U.S. military to stand down in Benghazi or otherwise prevented a military response that could have saved American lives, Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, finally conceded in an interview on FOX News that the military could not have gotten to Benghazi in time to save the lives of the four Americans killed that night:
“Whether or not they could have gotten there in time, I don’t think there is any issue with respect to that—they couldn’t.”
His admission comes after Democrats released statements from his Chief Counsel earlier this week from closed-door interviews conducted by the Select Committee with Defense Secretary Panetta and his Chief of Staff, Jeremy Bash.
In response, Benghazi Select Committee Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings, House Armed Services Ranking Member Adam Smith, and House Intelligence Ranking Member Adam Schiff issued the following statements:
“Chairman Gowdy has finally admitted what we have all known for years: the central Republican allegation that the military was told to withhold assets that could have saved lives in Benghazi for political reasons is wrong,” said Ranking Member Cummings. “Based on the Chairman’s admission today, I call on the Select Committee to stop harassing the Pentagon with baseless demands, release the transcripts of our witness interviews, and stop wasting millions of taxpayer dollars dragging out the investigation closer and closer to the election.”
“Now even Chairman Gowdy is agreeing with his Chief Counsel’s statements, which badly undermine the political case the Benghazi Committee has been trying to make against Secretary Clinton,” said Ranking Member Smith. “When are we going to stop interfering with the Defense Department’s operations and spending taxpayer money for this charade?”
“For months, Republicans on the Benghazi Select Committee have suggested that shocking, new details will upend our knowledge of the tragic attack in Benghazi – from gun running, to stand-down orders, to top level interference with the rescue attempt,” said Ranking Member Schiff. “Now, Chairman Gowdy himself has been forced to admit that one of the most pernicious of those theories – that additional military assistance could have gotten there in time to prevent the deaths of those four Americans – has no basis in fact. The Majority, which will not share its draft report with the Minority, must see that its work has already been discredited by its partisan, inconsistent and often incoherent work-product. It should finally bring the committee's work to a close, and end the political charade once and for all.”