Benghazi chair: Obama could end probe 'today'

The head of the House panel looking into the 2012 siege in Benghazi, Libya, says President Obama could release records and end the investigation right away if he really wanted to.

The president “could pick up the phone today and say … ‘Give him what he wants so he will please go away,’ ” House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdySenate GOP set to ramp up Obama-era probes More than two dozen former prosecutors, judges, active trial lawyers support DOJ decision to dismiss Michael Flynn case Sunday shows preview: As states loosen social distancing restrictions, lawmakers address dwindling state budgets MORE (R-S.C.) said Thursday during an interview with Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade and Friends.”

ADVERTISEMENT

In addition, Gowdy added, Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryThe Memo: Biden faces balancing act Budowsky: Trump October surprise could devastate GOP Hillicon Valley: Democrats request counterintelligence briefing | New pressure for election funding | Republicans urge retaliation against Chinese hackers MORE “could decide, ‘You know what, none of this happened when I was secretary of State, and I’m tired of the agency being cast in the light that it’s cast in, as being recalcitrant, give him the emails. They’re public record. Give them to him.”

But “those two phone calls haven’t been made yet, so we continue to wait. So there’s a drip,” Gowdy noted.

The former federal prosecutor said there are still 25 to 30 people that the select committee must interview.

He also chided the State Department for moving slowly to respond to a subpoena issued in March for emails from "seventh floor principals" during Clinton’s tenure, even though the agency handed over 3,600 new pages to the House panel this week.

His remarks come just days after Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic convention lineup to include Ocasio-Cortez, Clinton, Warren: reports Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Kanye West 'not denying' his campaign seeks to damage Biden MORE’s presidential campaign released a scathing video that labeled the more-than-yearlong investigation by the GOP-controlled panel as a “political charade.”

The video came out the morning after the State Department published more than 1,900 emails from the private email server Clinton used while she was the nation’s No. 1 diplomat.

Gowdy said the release showed Clinton’s relationship with Sidney Blumenthal “was a whole lot broader than Libya” and joked, “I’m not the only one in the world to struggle with fax machines” as Clinton did in one memorable exchange.

However, “with respect to Libya and Benghazi, we didn’t learn a whole lot” because the memos were from 2009 and predated the attacks that killed four Americans, Gowdy said.

Gowdy stood by comments he made earlier this week that he would call Kerry in to discuss producing the documents, if necessary.

“Whether or not John Kerry comes is completely within his hands,” he said. “Frankly, he wouldn’t add anything to our analysis of Benghazi and Libya, he just happens to be the ultimate record-keeper at the State Department.”

Gowdy declined to give a timeframe for when Clinton herself might testify before the select committee, something she has agreed to do. He said that, since the 2016 presidential contender has insisted she would only appear once, that one time “is going to have be thorough and productive.”

Gowdy knocked Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the panel’s top Democrat, for suggesting Clinton appear last year, before the select committee uncovered her private email server or Blumenthal’s advisory role.

“We didn’t know any of that last fall. So if I’d done what the Democrats asked me to do, then I would have used my one time to talk to her and been at about 50 percent,” he said.

“I’m not going to make that mistake,” Gowdy said.