There were no fireworks in the making Wednesday as Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., got the House Select Committee on Benghazi off to a quiet start.
In his opening statement, Gowdy said he was hopeful for an investigation “worthy of the memory of those who died.”
“I remain hopeful there are still things left in our country that can transcend politics,” he said. “I remain convinced our fellow citizens deserve all of the facts of what happened before, during, and after the attacks in Benghazi and they deserve an investigative process worthy of the memory of those who died and worthy of the trust of our fellow citizens.”
Careful to set the right tone, Gowdy gently pushed back against his Democrat colleagues.
“Some question the need for this committee,” he said. “I respect your right to disagree, but the mark of a professional, indeed the mark of character, is to do a good job even if you do not think the task should have been assigned in the first place. Given the gravity of the issues at hand, I’m willing to risk answering the same question twice rather than risk not answering it once.”
The former prosecutor let it be known there’s more evidence to come forward, including additional witnesses.
“As we are keenly aware, all documents responsive to congressional requests have not been produced,” he said. “Moreover, there are witnesses with information or access to information with whom no committee of Congress has spoken.”
Setting partisanship aside, Gowdy said the committee had a duty to those who were killed.
“Perhaps we can be what those four brave men were: neither Republican nor Democrat,” he said. “We can just be Americans in pursuit of the facts, the truth, and justice no matter where that journey takes us.”
Gowdy tweeted a few of his remarks, prompting some supportive responses, including a couple of calls for Gowdy as U.S. Attorney General in 2016:
I remain convinced our fellow citizens deserve all of the facts of what happened before, during, and after the attacks #Benghazihearing
— Trey Gowdy (@TGowdySC) September 17, 2014
— JustJanis (@jsavite) September 17, 2014
@TGowdySC PLEASE do not allow Cummings to derail the hearings with his big loud mouth. He WILL attempt to.
— Merwin In CT (@Politix_Junkie) September 17, 2014
— Texacalirose™ (@texacalirose) September 17, 2014
@TGowdySC Do your job, Counselor. The US desperately needs to see the truth of what happened and why. Don’t let Cummings breathe.
— HopeAndChange (@AmericanMade_1) September 17, 2014
— Carolina Girl (@Carolina_Girl3) September 17, 2014
— Crystal (@crystal_night20) September 17, 2014