Rep. Frank Wolf says no select committee is a "failure" of leadership
Despite repeated GOP calls to establish a select committee to investigate how Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi last September, GOP sources say it's increasingly "unlikely" a select committee will ever be called up.
Last week more than 130 GOP members including Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. – who has been leading the charge to create a select committee – sent a letter to House Speaker Rep. John Boehner urging leadership to convene a select committee, but sources say leadership would prefer to let the five committees who have jurisdiction over the Benghazi tragedy continue to conduct their ongoing inquiries.
"Last week's Oversight and Government Reform hearing into Benghazi brought to light information that had not been public previously, and contradicted information provided to Congress and the public by the Administration," a GOP aide said. "The [Chairmen] of the five committees of jurisdiction are coordinating with leadership, and they have the full support of leadership in moving forward regarding Benghazi related oversight actions."
Another aide said that leadership is waiting on the Oversight Committee to finish its work before completely ruling out next steps.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has announced plans to hold additional hearings on Benghazi in upcoming weeks.
Wolf and his counterparts have argued that a select committee would pull together "the best of the best" from the five committees and is the "only way to ensure that the complete truth comes out."
Wolf said Monday he was disappointed that leadership had not acted.
"I think that is very unfortunate," Wolf told U.S. News. "It's a failure."
Wolf says many Benghazi Victims' families have called for a select committee as well as the Wall Street Journal and Special Operations Speaks, a group of military veterans who believe the administration is involved in covering up key facts in Benghazi.
"People have risked their lives," Wolf says. "My obligation is to the country and what I believe, and this is important to the country."
In the past, Congress has appointed special committees on everything from Hurricane Katrina to Watergate to how to more efficiently run the congressional beauty salon.
Monday, President Barack Obama stood up against critics who have blasted the White House and accused it of covering up key information on Benghazi. He called Republican obsessions over whether talking points were edited by the White House, as alleged by recent news reports, a "sideshow."
"There's no there there. The fact that this keeps on getting churned up frankly, has a whole lot to do with political motivations," Obama said during the press conference.