House Speaker John Boehner announced Friday that he will convene a select committee to investigate Benghazi, ending months of resistance to conservative demands that the laser focus of a special panel be brought to bear on perhaps the worst scandal surrounding the Obama administration.
In doing so, Boehner rejected White House claims that a newly uncovered email, withheld from Congress, did not apply to Benghazi. The email not only mentions Benghazi specifically, it refers to “protests,” which by definition included the Benghazi attacks, which the White House considered the result of a “protest” at the time of the email.
Meanwhile, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa Friday issued a subpoena to force Secretary of State John Kerry to testify about Benghazi.
According to reports, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), is being considered to lead the new committee.
From a written statement by Boehner:
Americans learned this week that the Obama Administration is so intent on obstructing the truth about Benghazi that it is even willing to defy subpoenas issued by the standing committees of the People’s House. These revelations compel the House to take every possible action to ensure the American people have the truth about the terrorist attack on our consulate that killed four of our countrymen.
In light of these new developments, the House will vote to establish a new select committee to investigate the attack, provide the necessary accountability, and ensure justice is finally served.
The administration’s withholding of documents – emails showing greater White House involvement in misleading the American people – is a flagrant violation of trust and undermines the basic principles of oversight upon which our system of government is built. And it forces us to ask the question, what else about Benghazi is the Obama administration still hiding from the American people?
This dismissiveness and evasion requires us to elevate the investigation to a new level. I intend for this select committee to have robust authority, and I will expect it to work quickly to get answers for the American people and the families of the victims.
Four Americans died at the hands of terrorists nearly 20 months ago, and we are still missing answers, accountability, and justice. It’s time that change.
Boehner has been in more hot water than usual with conservatives lately, particularly over remarks mocking them for not wanting to move ahead with immigration reform. The special panel may in part be a move to appease them.
But Boehner is also reportedly genuinely furious with the White House.
The committee will also ensure that Benghazi is continually in the headlines during the months leading up to the election.