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Benghazi Committee Will Meet During Lame Duck, Chairman Says

Gowdy says the Benghazi committee will meet during the lame-duck session. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Remember the Select Committee on Benghazi?  

The panel convened to probe the 2012 attacks on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, was created in the spring and had its first public hearing in September — but otherwise has been quiet.  

Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., told CQ Roll Call Friday the committee will meet "in public and in private" between now and the end of the lame-duck session, which is currently open-ended.  

"I can't give you any more specifics," he said as he exited the House chamber following votes on Friday, "but Mr. [Elijah E.] Cummings and I were just chatting about it."  

Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, is the Benghazi committee's ranking member. House GOP leaders said they established the committee because they wanted to restore seriousness to the process that had become hyper-partisan — especially under the jurisdiction of Rep. Darrell Issa's Oversight and Government Reform Committee — but Democrats countered that it was just an excuse to continue pointing fingers at the Obama administration and a likely 2016 presidential nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was, at the time of the attacks, the secretary of state.  

And while it may be true that House Republicans really did want to see Congress investigate the incident through a centralized committee, it didn't hurt them politically, either, to be able to remind constituents that they were the party determined to get to the bottom of the tragic incident.  

Meanwhile, Democrats say they have been pleasantly surprised by Gowdy's even-keeled leadership approach, and the September hearing took place with minimal fireworks.  

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