Gowdy Statement on Report by State Department Inspector General
Washington, D.C. — Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (SC-04) released the following statement regarding the State Department Office of Inspector General’s Evaluation of Email Records Management:
“There is only one reason why these facts are now available to the American people: thorough congressional oversight, including the Select Committee on Benghazi’s insistence that any truly comprehensive review of what happened before, during, and after the 2012 terrorist attacks in Libya must include public records from the former Secretary of State and her senior staff. While the emails have never been the focus of our investigation, it was necessary to obtain them, and this committee is the first and only one to do so. If anyone wonders why the investigation is not yet complete, the malfeasance and numerous problems identified in this report are Exhibit A, and prove the committee has faced serial delays from day one at the hands of public officials who sought to avoid transparency and accountability.”
Under President Obama, the State Department did not have a permanent Inspector General until September 2013, when the Democrat-controlled Senate unanimously confirmed his appointment.
The Obama administration’s serial delays in producing documents to the committee total more than 10,000 days, the equivalent of over 27 years.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration confirmed the committee went the extra mile to complete its investigation as soon as possible by helping the State Department get extra funding. In total, $6.5 million was reprogrammed so the State Department could speed up document production to Congress and the committee could complete its investigation faster.
“I wanted to have this completed by the end of December 2015,” Chairman Gowdy recently told Politico. “But you have to have access to documents and witnesses — that is the lifeblood of an investigation… And when one side controls documents and the witnesses and the other group is trying to conduct the investigation, that creates something of a quandary.”