After DOD Delays, Benghazi Committee Interviews Two Drone Pilots

May 26, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (SC-04) released the following statement after the committee interviewed three new witnesses this week, including one eyewitness and two drone pilots from the time of the attacks:
“I’m glad the committee was finally able to interview some of the drone pilots we asked the Department of Defense to provide three months ago. Political appointees may think it is ‘unnecessary,’ but talking to the service members with firsthand knowledge is just as important as talking to the generals and admirals who command them. The committee is conducting a thorough, fact-centered investigation, not trying to prove predetermined political conclusions, so it must pursue every lead possible as part of its obligation to determine what can and cannot be substantiated. The Department has still not fulfilled the committee’s months-old request to interview an individual who claimed on his Facebook page that he was a crew chief at an air base in Europe the night of the attacks. This request was only made after the Department did not answer a simple question in February that would either confirm or deny the allegations. It is irresponsible for Democrats to dismiss and ignore public claims without even talking to the person who made them, and the administration should provide this individual to the committee immediately so we can do our job.”
The first Facebook post the committee discovered – the same one containing the claims first described publicly by DOD – does not include a hashtag, as Democrats dishonestly claimed in order to paint the request as politically-motivated. In the post, the individual states in part, “I was an F-16 crewchief stationed [in Europe] when the attack happened. I was called into work, and we scrambled jets, armed and prepared them for an alert launch and then, we did nothing. … [W]e never got the order and did nothing.”
In total so far, the committee has interviewed 102 witnesses, including 79 who had never before been questioned by Congress. Nine of those new witnesses were eyewitnesses to the attacks.