In what few doubt is a coincidence, the Republican Benghazi panel led by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) is redoubling its public commitment to uncover the truth. And the timing as the 2016 cycle begins to pick up steam couldn’t be worse for Hillary Clinton.
Though she commands easily a 50% lead over her closest rival in the Democrat nomination fight, the big question on most minds is whether and how the Benghazi baggage might affect her.
Her infamous “What difference does it make?” quip at her one and only appearance during the House investigations begs a righting of the course ahead of her official kick-off. Many assume rightly that the RNC has already prepared attack ads that feature the memorable line.
So when Gowdy extended a request this week for another appearance, she jumped at the opportunity. Explaining her reply, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) detailed that Clinton “did not hesitate for one second. She said … I’ll do it, period. The fact is that she was very clear.”
But there was a catch. Gowdy detailed that his invitation to Clinton hinges on a full release of State Department documents concerning the incidents in Benghazi, which the committee has yet to receive. Gowdy revealed:
“The deal I had with Mr. Cummings is we will bring her before the committee within 30 days of receiving all the [State Department] documents responsive to our request. If I were to conclude this investigation having not talked to the secretary of State at the time it would be an incomplete investigation.”
Gowdy continued, “But I can’t talk to her until I have the documents that would make that conversation productive. I’m not interested in having a conversation where old allegations are repeated or a shouting match. I want to ask specific questions rooted in documents.”