On Monday, House Speaker John Boehner announced that he would be reappointing Republican Trey Gowdy as chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi.
However, as noted by Yahoo! News, Boehner’s statement made no mention of the fact that the committee does not actually exist because it’s not permanent and needs a new vote in the House when Congress returns next year.
“On September 11, 2012, four Americans were killed in a brutal terrorist attack in Libya. Two years later, the American people still have far too many questions about what happened that night — and why,” Boehner said. “That’s why I will reappoint Rep. Trey Gowdy and the Republican members of the House Select Committee to investigate the events in Benghazi in the 114th Congress. I look forward to the definitive report Chairman Gowdy and the Select Committee will present to the American people.”
Speaker Boehner’s statement comes after the Intelligence Committee, led by the GOP, released the findings of a two-year investigation into the Sep. 11th attacks in Benghazi in which they concluded that the CIA and the military responded satisfactorily and appropriately to the attack, and previous theories of a cover-up or conspiracy were unfounded. The report addressed a number of theories that were presented by conservatives in the two years since the attacks, many of which were directed towards and critical of then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and other Obama administration officials.
According to Yahoo! News, some of the accusations regarding the attacks included theories that “a CIA response team was ordered to "stand down" after the State Department compound came under attack, that a military rescue was nixed, that officials intentionally downplayed the role of al-Qaida figures in the attack, and that Stevens and the CIA were involved in a secret operation to spirit weapons out of Libya and into the hands of Syrian rebels.” All of these claims were debunked in the Intelligence Committee’s report.
Boehner’s announcement of a re-creation of the Benghazi committee, despite a report that disproves claims of cover-ups and conspiracies surrounding the attacks, prompted a response from Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings.
“After an exhaustive bipartisan investigation that spanned nearly two years, the House Intelligence Committee now unanimously agrees that the CIA talking points reflected conflicting intelligence assessments in the days immediately following the attacks and that there is no evidence that the intelligence community shipped arms to Syria,” Cummings’ statement read. “Based on these unanimous, bipartisan findings, there is no reason for the Benghazi Select Committee to reinvestigate these facts, repeat the work already done by our Republican and Democratic colleagues, and squander millions of additional taxpayer dollars in the process."
Congress returns for a new session in January.