Rep. Trey Gowdy, the tea party Republican tapped to lead the new committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks, made a telling slip Wednesday morning in describing his mission.
Asked by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough about the possibility that his panel’s work would continue into the 2016 election campaign, Gowdy replied that “if an administration is slow-walking document production, I can’t end a trial simply because the defense won’t cooperate.”
A trial? And the Obama administration is the defense? So much for that “serious investigation” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) promised; his new chairman intends to play prosecutor, proving the administration’s guilt to the jury — in this case, the public.
It was no small admission. Publicly, GOP leaders insist their election-year charade is actually a credible search for the facts, wherever they may lead. They’re going into this process, not on a partisan witch hunt, but as responsible public officials. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) assured reporters this week that this is going to be “a serious investigation.”
Except Gowdy accidentally told the truth on national television – he’s already convinced, before the process even starts, that the White House is guilty of wrongdoing, and the far-right congressman believes it’s his job to prosecute administration officials.
Millbank, not always the most reliable Beltway scribe, also nailed why Gowdy was chosen, despite his lack of seniority in the House.
Gowdy, who deploys courtroom theatrics on the House floor and in committee hearings, often wears his gray hair long and slicked back and has gained attention for wild-eyed, high-volume bursts of pious indignation. The rise of another Southern white male to the top of the GOP probably won’t improve its demographic difficulties, but Gowdy’s climb is a key example of how the Republican Party has blunted the tea party threat in large part by co-opting the movement.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) on Sunday responded to questions about Republicans using terrorist attacks in Benghazi to raise funds by saying that Democrats had done it first with the Sandy Hook shootings in 2012, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.