Benghazi chairman: Panel’s findings could be inconclusive

Benghazi chairman: Panel’s findings could be inconclusive

The chairman of House Select Committee on Benghazi says the panel’s final report might not offer a definitive account of what transpired during the deadly attacks in 2012.

“If you do a good enough job laying out the facts, the conclusions will either speak for themselves, or you’ll have competing factual narratives, and you can draw your own conclusions,” Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Conway spars with Wallace on whether White House will cooperate with impeachment inquiry after formal vote Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' MORE (R-S.C.) told the Greenville News.

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“It’s not my job to tell people what to conclude,” the former federal prosecutor added. “If you have two witnesses, [and] one says the light was red and one green, I don’t view myself as being the arbiter of who is more credible.”

Gowdy’s comments come just a few days after he said the select committee won't schedule an appearance by former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonImpeachment hearings don't move needle with Senate GOP GOP divided over impeachment trial strategy 'Too Far Left' hashtag trends on Twitter MORE until members are satisfied they have all the relevant documents, including messages from her private email server. 

Gowdy has said he would like the now-yearlong investigation into the deadly assault to wrap up in 2015 but indicated that won’t happen unless the administration stops dragging its feet on committee requests. 

A spokesman for the panel said last month that its final report might not see the light of day until some time in 2016, well into the presidential campaign.

Democrats are likely to point to Gowdy’s latest comments as just another sign that the panel’s investigation is nothing more than a political stunt aimed at hobbling Clinton’s White House bid. 

The South Carolina Republican said he is aware that, regardless of the panel’s findings, there will be some who won’t be happy with the results of the investigation.

“If you do a good enough job getting every bit of information the fact-finder needs, they’ll be able to draw their own conclusions,” Gowdy said. “People are going to draw different conclusions. That’s fine.”

“I have become extremely concerned by the path the Select Committee has taken, squandering millions of dollars of taxpayer funds as it drags out its search for anything Republicans can use to attack Secretary Clinton in the presidential election," Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the panel's top Democrat, said in a statement.

"For the Committee’s report to be credible — and honor the promises we made to the families — we should draw bipartisan conclusions based on the facts, state publicly when conspiracy theories are debunked, and set forth concrete recommendations to implement reforms that protect our diplomatic corps around the world," he added.

— This report was updated at 11:19 a.m.