House Benghazi Investigation Is Officially Over

The House Select Committee on Benghazi officially ended its investigation into the 2012 terrorist attacks on the American embassy in Libya.

The committee's chairman, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, submitted the panel's final report to the official House record on Dec. 7, the day before the 114th Congress ended its final session, reports USA Today.

"The committee is proud to have been able to tell the story of the ingenuity and bravery displayed by our nation's heroes in Benghazi, who banded together to save one another, when no other help was ever on the way," Gowdy said of the investigation on Dec. 12, according to USA Today.

The special panel formed in May 2014 with the purpose of looking into the attacks that killed four Americans. Republicans largely backed the $7.8 million effort, while most Democrats opposed it.

The report determined that government, military and CIA leaders failed on multiple levels in response to the crisis overseas, as well as in their explanations to the American public regarding what happened to cause the attacks. It was during this investigation that the committee learned former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a private email server to send and receive official emails.

Democrats called the effort a drawn-out waste of money that remained in existence as a way to attack Clinton as she geared up for her presidential run.

"Republicans voted on this partisan report five months ago, but delayed filing it and completing the committee until after the election," said Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who was the top Democrat on the committee.

Though the committee released its findings regarding the attacks six months ago on July 8, it delayed disbanding to work on declassifying documents related to the investigation so it could be more accessible to the public despite Democratic opposition.

"[Democrats] don't want all the documents released, and they want the transcripts released piecemeal," Gowdy said in June, according to a press release on the official Select Committee on Benghazi website. "And I'm not going to do it that way. It's not done in other investigations I’m familiar with, it's not fair to the public and it's not fair to the participants." 

Sources: USA Today, House Select Committee on Benghazi / Photo Credit: C-SPAN/Wikimedia Commons

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