Gowdy: Select Committee Makes ‘Significant Breakthroughs,’ Interviews 75th Witness
Washington, D.C.— Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (SC-04) released the following statement after the committee conducted its 75th witness interview:
“The Select Committee has made enormous progress this month. We interviewed a top State Department official, Patrick Kennedy, and after months and months of quiet negotiations with the White House, we finally were able to question both Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes. In addition, just last week, the committee gained access to crucial national security records we sought for nearly a year – records no other investigation has seen. While there are still witnesses to talk to and documents to review, these significant breakthroughs are big wins that will help the committee complete the most comprehensive investigation into what happened before, during and after the Benghazi terrorist attacks, and release a report as soon as possible.”
On Tuesday, the Select Committee privately interviewed its 75th witness to date, questioning Matt Olsen, the former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Olsen was the first administration official to publicly call the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi a “terrorist attack,” doing so on September 19, 2012, eight days after the attack.
Prior to the Select Committee’s investigation, no congressional committee had interviewed Susan Rice or Ben Rhodes about Benghazi. The Select Committee was established in May 2014 after the Obama administration defied a congressional subpoena and refused to turn over an email written by Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes.
So far, 59 of the 75 witnesses interviewed by the committee had never before been interviewed by Congress. The Select Committee is also the first and only Benghazi investigation to include roughly 70,000 new pages of documents – including the Secretary of State's emails – and the first to even request access to Ambassador Chris Stevens’ emails.