Letter of response from Chairman Gowdy and Statement from the Communications Director on release of letters by Democrats

January 26, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC—Select Committee on Benghazi Communications Director Jamal D. Ware issued the following statement and letter of response from Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., after Democrats released correspondence sent from them to Chairman Gowdy: 

“Chairman Gowdy will talk to Benghazi sources with or without the Democrats present just as they are welcome to talk to sources with or without Republicans present. As CRS has noted, no congressional select committee has ever had a requirement that sources meet with both sides at the same time, and the Benghazi Committee is no exception. 

“Further, that the Democrats have released correspondence that attempts to politically characterize sources’ private discussions with the committee without proper context goes to the exact heart of why the Chairman will not require sources to talk to both sides.

“Chairman Gowdy has operated the Benghazi Committee in a more-than-fair and fact-based manner, going so far as to allow Democrats absent due to personal matters to participate in Committee hearings via conference call and allowing the minority to claim time not utilized by their absent Members.

“The Chairman has worked over the last several months to accommodate the minority with regard to their concerns, including offering a rules package that is much more generous than current standing committee rules and that of rules adopted by previous select committees. In fact it is worth noting that the package offered by the Chairman does not deviate from previous select committees with regard to minority consultation in the process and in some instances is much more generous.

“Chairman Gowdy is disappointed by the minority’s decision to release their letters, but he will continue to work to address any legitimate minority concerns.  He will not, however, allow the committee’s investigation to be hamstrung by politics.”

Editor’s Note:  Linked is a letter Chairman Gowdy sent to Ranking Member Cummings, D-Md., laying out extensive efforts by Chairman Gowdy to address in a bipartisan and fair manner issues raised by the minority both in committee staff negotiations and in correspondence from the Ranking Member.