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Meet The Former Prosecutor Who Will Lead The House Benghazi Investigation

Memo Pad Politics

Meet The Former Prosecutor Who Will Lead The House Benghazi Investigation


“Trey Gowdy is as dogged, focused, and serious-minded as they come,” House Speaker John Boehner (OH) declared Monday as he justified his decision to appoint South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy (R) to lead the congressional committee set to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attacks.

But who exactly is Trey Gowdy? And why do conservatives feel so warm and fuzzy about Boehner’s decision?

As Business Insider explains, Gowdy is a former federal prosecutor and district attorney for South Carolina’s Seventh Circuit.

Gowdy began serving in Congress in 2011, and he quickly earned the admiration of those on the right. The South Carolina Republican, as Fox News put it, “has made a name for himself by going after top administration officials with the same fervor he once reserved for murder convicts he sent to death row as a prosecutor in South Carolina.”

Besides bonding with his fellow conservatives over their zeal for the death penalty, Gowdy has proven to be a far-right favorite, actively participating in the GOP-led investigation into the September 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya. In October 2013, the conservative congressman made news when he used a press conference to “demand answers” from the Obama administration on the State Department’s knowledge and handling of the Benghazi attacks.

Months later, in December, Gowdy did what all good Republicans ought to: he slammed a New York Times report Republicans deemed favorable to the Obama administration as “politically motivated,” but not before managing to tie it back to Benghazi.

Explaining to Fox News’ On the Record guest host Dana Perino that the report sought to advance or promote Hillary Clinton’s expected 2016 presidential bid, Gowdy accused the Times of failing to acknowledge the former Secretary of State’s role in Benghazi.

“I want you to read it six times and tell me if you can tell who the Secretary of State was when Benghazi happened,” Gowdy challenged.

Gowdy – who currently serves on the House Oversight Committee — might now get his own chance with Clinton, whom he is likely to subpoena to testify before the newly formed congressional committee.

“Our fellow citizens are full well capable of processing the truth about the attacks and aftermath, and most assuredly entitled to hear it,” Gowdy asserted after Boehner tapped him as committee leader.

Gowdy’s reputation has earned him support from colleagues like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), who says the South Carolina congressman’s “prosecutorial background” will constitute an “enormous value to the committee’s efforts.”

Democrats have not confirmed their participation, with House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) telling reporters he plans on pushing House Democrats – several of whom say that Speaker Boehner has not even contacted Democrats to discuss the committee – to vote against it.

For now, however, Boehner and conservatives are giddy with excitement over the latest development in their favorite conspiracy.

Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) is confident that the committee will finally unearth the “truth” about Benghazi, in no small part due to Gowdy’s newest role.

“He has an innate ability to evoke the truth,” says DesJarlais, according to Fox News.

Oh, and let’s not forget Gowdy’s “ability” to hunt down officials and politicians “with the same fervor he once reserved for murder convicts he sent to death row.” We’re sure Mrs. Clinton is shaking in her boots.

Photo: House GOP via Flickr



  1. Dominick Vila May 7, 2014

    If the goal is to learn more about the root causes of terrorism, and how to prevent recurrences, which it is not, the questions that begs to be asked is why is this investigation limited to Benghazi. Why don’t we include the 12 terrorist attacks against U.S. diplomatic facilities in the Bush era? Why don’t we include the attacks against our consulate in Karachi, which was attacked twice.
    If the goal is to determine the reaction of our government when we are under attack, why don’t we investigate our performance during and immediately after 9/11/01? For starters, why did former President Bush delegate responsibility to attend the daily national security briefings? Why were no warning issued when it was obvious that an attack on U.S. soil was imminent? Why did we give Saudi Arabia a free pass, and granted them Most Favored Nation status, after finding out that 15 out of the 18 terrorists that carried out the 9/11 attack were from Saudi Arabia, that its mastermind was from that country, and that the Al Qaeda financiers were all Saudi Wahhabi princes?
    Yes, there is much to be learned from these tragedies, including Benghazi, but let’s face it, learning is not the goal. This is the most politicized issue – and probably the only issue – the GOP can think off to tarnish the image of President Obama and prevent a Hillary Clinton landslide in 2016. On second thought, there seems to be one more issue: Monica Lewinski, who after being paid millions of dollars for her story is now claiming “her boss” abused her by making her the scapegoat in the sordid affair that she initiated.

    1. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh May 7, 2014

      Now, Dominick, haven’t you realized by now that those terrorist attacks during the Shrub administration were simply “casualties of the War on Terror”, even though none of them took place in any country where we were actively engaging terrorists?

      1. Dominick Vila May 7, 2014

        In the world of Tea Party public opinion, the World Trade Center and the {Pentagon were benign incidents when compared to Benghazi. Repeat Benghazi a couple of time and you will realize how ominous and terrifying its very name sounds. With a name like that, it has to be an unprecedented tragedy, something so evil that we now need a special prosecutor to replace good ole Rep. Issa. Anyway, what happened in the Bush era is not important and it should not be a topic of discussion. It was just a chimera, a dream or nightmare, that does not deserve our attention, let alone an investigation. After all, only 3,000+ dies in those tragic attacks, a fact that pales in comparison with the devastating attack against our unmanned consulate in Benghazi.

  2. Bambi May 7, 2014

    His modis operandi is inquisitorial and adversarial. It has nothing to do with finding the truth thru due process.This is the “trial” of Hillary Clinton, presented by a republican former death row prosecutor, using alledged false and prejudicial statements in an effort to convict her of a ‘crime’. similar to what Issa has been doing in his committee. Not only a waste of taxpayer money but an affront to our democratic principles.

    1. Abuse OfPower May 9, 2014

      its idiots like you who are ruining america…

      1. Bambi May 9, 2014

        Your negative emotions are obviously controlling you. Try finding a way to respect the other person’s dignity without calling names. I’m not a public figure or politician. I don’t deserve to be called a name for expressing my opinion under my 1st amendment right. Your opinion spoken with malice that another citizen (me) is an idiot is better left unsaid. Talk about the public figure but not about the citizen. A private citizen’s reputation and privacy interests tend to outweigh free speech considerations.

  3. Sand_Cat May 7, 2014

    Perhaps Democrats should refuse to participate and hold their own meetings to talk about GOP duplicity in competition. But of course the “liberal” media would probably ignore them, act shocked that Democrats care so little about this important issue, and lovingly and lingeringly analyze and repeat each outrageous GOP lie as if it were gospel.


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