House Speaker John Boehner has selected South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy to head a special committee investigating the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Boehner made the announcement in a statement Monday. He called the two-term congressman - who is a former prosecutor - dogged and focused.
Gowdy, of Spartanburg, said he would look at all the factors that contributed to the event, adding that "facts are neither red nor blue."
"Twenty months after the Benghazi attacks, there remain unresolved questions about why the security was inadequate, our response during the siege itself, and our government's interaction with the public after the attack," said Gowdy, R-S.C. "All of those lines of inquiry are legitimate and should be apolitical."
Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack. Republicans have accused the Obama administration of covering up the details and stonewalling Congress on the facts for political purposes.
Democrats have pointed to the multiple investigations, including a bipartisan Senate Intelligence committee probe, and insist that the GOP plans for a select committee is merely designed to energize the GOP base ahead of midterm elections.
Gowdy comes from the conservative 4th Congressional District in the Upstate. He was elected to Congress in 2010. Prior to that he worked as a federal prosecutor from 1994-2000 before becoming solicitor for the state's 7th Circuit.
"While people are free to draw different conclusions from the facts, there should be no debate over whether the American public is entitled to have all of the facts," Gowdy added. "In a courtroom, juries are free to believe one witness over a hundred witnesses. But you cannot make that or any other credibility determination if you do not have access to all relevant witnesses, documents and other tangible evidence."
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, longtime critique of the administration's handling of addressing the attack, called Gowdy "the most capable person in the entire Congress to lead the Select Committee."
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., also supported the appointment. "The families of those killed in the Benghazi attacks deserve to know the truth about what happened that night, as well as the administration's response in the hours and days afterwards," he said. "Trey Gowdy is without a doubt the right man for the job, and I have no doubt he will lead a thorough and fair investigation."
The Associated Press contributed to this reporter.
This April 29e photo shows House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaking on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boehner says he’ll establish select House committee to investigate Benghazi attack.×
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