The House Benghazi Select Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) was pleasantly surprised by the Obama administration on Thursday. After months of accusing the committee of hampering progress in the investigation for political reasons, the State Department has finally admitted it deserves the blame for the delayed findings.
The State Department’s review unit into documents uncovered by the Benghazi committee was supposed to be functional by June 2015, but the agency failed to make that target. State Department spokesman Mark Toner noted that Gowdy did his part, even helping to secure funds for the department to obtain the relevant records.
In a new statement, Gowdy was grateful for the acknowledgment.
"After years of frustrating delays by the State Department, and its refusal to answer questions about why it was taking so long to produce documents, I appreciate the Obama administration finally confirming the Benghazi Committee went the extra mile to complete its investigation as soon as possible by helping the State Department get extra funding," he said.
Yet, that doesn’t mean Gowdy isn’t frustrated with the administration’s unbearably slow pace in complying with the committee’s requests. For instance, the Defense Department has failed to approve witness testimonies that are critical to the investigation, the chairman told Politico.
“It’s taken way too long and way too much of our energy in simply gaining access,” Gowdy said. “There continues to be time wasted negotiating with executive branch entities who do not want to give us what I believe Congress is entitled to.”
Since its inception, the Benghazi Select Committee has been attacked as a political tool to jeopardize Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. While the panel has indeed exposed the former secretary of state’s incompetence the night of September 11, 2012, they did so as a means of providing answers to the Benghazi victims’ families.
The select committee is trying to figure out why such failed leadership was displayed the night of the Benghazi raid. Can we say the same for the Obama administration?