by Matthew Boyle 11 Dec 2012
Virginia Republican Rep. Frank Wolf has rolled out an effort to push for a special select committee to investigate President Barack Obama’s Benghazi scandal. “I have a bill and it does that,” Wolf told Breitbart News in a phone interview. “We have 26 cosponsors including myself.”
Wolf said the special select committee would operate similarly to how the Watergate or Iran Contra congressional investigative bodies.
“The purpose of the Watergate committee – and, of course, as you know, no one died in Watergate, and no one died in the Iran Contra thing – but the Watergate committee was twofold: It was to look at either illegal or improper activity and to gather information to see if the Congress should pass any legislation, which they did, based on the Watergate hearings,” Wolf said. “The second, which is most important, is to educate the American people. Right now, very few if anyone in Congress knows what happened [in Benghazi] and the American people do not know.”
“Right now, you have at least five committees who have jurisdiction and would be involved,” Wolf added.
“One is the Intelligence Committee, obviously, with the CIA involvement and activity. Secondly, would be the Armed Services Committee with the Petraeus situation. Thirdly would be the Judiciary Committee because Eric Holder knew [about the Gen. David Petraeus affair].
"Did he [Holder] tell anybody in the White House? Did he tell [Obama’s chief counter terrorism adviser John] Brennan or Jack Lew, the chief of staff?
"Fourth, you would have the Foreign Affairs Committee. That’s because Benghazi was a consulate under the jurisdiction of the State Department. Then you also have the House oversight committee because it crosses over into other agencies and also gets in touch with the White House.
"Maybe we’d even have the Homeland Security committee so we could have six different committees, certainly five, that have jurisdiction.”
With a special select committee to investigate the scandal, Wolf said the House would take the “chairmen and ranking members of all of these committees.”
“You would also give the Speaker five slots and the Minority Leader two,” Wolf said. “The reason is, otherwise you’re going to have hearings here on one committee that won’t know what the other committee did. There’d be no way of knowing.”
A House GOP leadership aide told Breitbart News that while leadership isn’t fully behind Wolf yet, his proposal might be allowed to go through. “It remains under consideration,” the aide said in an email.
Part of the reason why Wolf thinks a special select committee is necessary to investigate Benghazi is because it involves so many facets of government. The CIA is involved, as are the State Department and the United States ambassador to the United Nations. With now former CIA director David Petraeus’ affair, and its connections to Benghazi, Wolf notes the FBI and Justice Department are involved, too. In addition, the White House is involved.
Since so many House committees have already launched their own investigations into this scandal, Wolf thinks “you almost need a one-stop location where it all comes together.”
“And that was the whole idea of Iran-Contra and that was the whole idea of the Watergate [select committees],” he said. “And, I think it is important for the American people to know what happened. The family members of those who were killed in Benghazi want to know what happened and they don’t even know what took place.”
“You have two people whose involvement in this is yet fully unknown,” Wolf added. “You have Susan Rice coming up as a potential Secretary of State and you have Brennan whose name is being bandied about as a possible next head of the CIA.
"Before you did that [appointed and confirmed those two into those high-level positions] you’d want to know what happened. I mean, did Eric Holder tell Brennan? I don’t know, but I have talked to previous attorneys general who were of the opinion that if this were during their time, they would have told the president or told the chief of staff at the White House.”
Wolf also said that “whatever we do, this thing should not be done behind closed doors. The Watergate hearings and Iran Contra hearings were public hearings.”