Following the Benghazi Committee's hearing with former CIA Director David Petraeus Wednesday and amid continued questions about the intent behind the House investigation, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) says he doesn't have the answer to one "really important question."
"The place that [Petraeus] helped me the most yesterday is this notion of whether or not we had assets that could have impacted what happened in Benghazi," Gowdy, the chairman of the Benghazi Committee, told Fox News' Bill Hemmer.
"If we did not have assets in the region, and this is a really important question, Bill, why did we not have assets in the region on the anniversary of 9/11?" the congressman asked.
"this is a really important question: why did we not have assets in the region on the anniversary of 9/11?" https://t.co/VV31TgIFlF— Benghazi Committee (@HouseBenghazi) January 8, 2016
Gowdy's comments come as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who also serves on the committee, says nothing new came from the hearing with Petraeus.
"I think what we bring today, not surprisingly, is completely consistent with what we have concluded in now eight separate investigations," Schiff said. "I'm not sure why, in fact, it was necessary to bring [Petraeus] back again."
The California lawmaker went on to say that Petraeus' interview was only conducted to "give the appearance that the select committee is about something apart from Secretary Clinton."
Gowdy, however, said that Schiff criticizes the Benghazi hearings only because he "has to."
"Adam has to say that. ... Remember, Adam voted against forming this committee in the first place, and he threatened not to participate, and he's threatened to walk away, and he called for it to be disbanded months ago," Gowdy said, citing the Democrats' "Asked and Answered" website, which was up "before we interviewed the very first witness."
In recent months, Gowdy has pushed back against multiple accusations from Democrats that the hearings are nothing more than a political spectacle. Gowdy insists that the investigation is not a "political charade," telling Fox News that the four-hour meeting with Petraeus was "constructive," adding that the former director speaks with a "degree of specificity" regarding Benghazi.
"I've got a couple of choices. I can issue a report and just tell your viewers — and my fellow citizens — we gave up, we didn't make them give us the stuff, or I can say, you know what, I'm going to be criticized no matter what I do, so why don't I just wait and get the documents that we're entitled to," Gowdy said in response frustrations on how long the hearings are taking.
Gowdy says the committee is "getting close" to a conclusion and has only approximately 12 more interviews to conduct.
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