House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is set to announce the formation of a select committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attacks.
Boehner had been cool to the idea of forming a committee to probe the attacks that left four Americans dead, but sources close to the speaker say a new email released this week showing that the Obama administration sought to downplay initial reports of terrorism was the ”straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Boehner is said to be tired of the “continued obstruction” by the White House, and now wants a committee to fully investigate.
Sources said Boehner wants former prosecutor Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) to lead the committee, and that preference means Gowdy is likely to preside over the effort.
Republicans on Thursday blasted the new email as a smoking gun that showed the White House ignored intelligence reports showing Al Qaeda was involved in the attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. A retired Air Force General testified to a House committee on Thursday that he knew very early on that the attack was not the result of a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim video.
Nonetheless, the email given to conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act request showed that senior White House staffers were playing up the idea of a spontaneous protest days later.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the email had nothing to do with Benghazi at all, which is why it had not been released earlier. That led Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to accuse the White House of telling a “bald-face lie.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus agreed that the White House’s actions amount to “lying.”
“When confronted with this evidence, they continue to offer denials, non-answers, and lies,” he said in a statement. “At this point, they’re lying about their lies. Clearly, Democrats will go to any length to cover up what really happened.