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Republicans shouldn’t raise money off Benghazi, says lawmaker heading latest panel

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The new head of a congressional panel investigating the 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, criticized on Wednesday some Republicans’ use of the deadly incident to raise campaign funds.

During an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina was asked whether he would appeal to his fellow Republicans to stop such fundraising efforts.

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“Yes, and I will cite myself as an example. I have never sought to raise a single penny on the backs of four murdered Americans,” said Gowdy, the newly appointed chairman of the special House of Representatives committee.

The September 11, 2012, attack resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and another diplomat. The next day, an attack on another U.S. facility in Benghazi killed two guards.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which seeks

to elect Republicans to the House, showcases Benghazi-related fundraising appeals on its website.

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“Stand with House Republicans as we continue to hold Democrats accountable for the truth of what happened in Benghazi,” one appeal states. “Help fight liberals by donating today.”

Another features a photo of Gowdy, calling him the “Chief Benghazi Watchdog.”

“Join Rep. Gowdy and demand answers for the Benghazi attack!” it reads, adding: “What really happened?”

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The NRCC gave no indication it would stop the fundraising appeals.

“The Obama administration has not been honest with the American people with regards to Benghazi,” said NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek. She added: “If Nancy Pelosi becomes speaker, the American people will never know the truth. Our goal is to hold Democrats in Congress accountable who continue to try to sweep this controversy under the rug.”

Republican-led House committees have been investigating the attack since 2012. Now, Republicans are creating a special committee to look into the matter, despite Democrats’ insistence that the violence in Libya at the U.S. compound has been thoroughly probed.

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At a brief news conference on Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner said it was “time for us to bring this together into one place and to focus our effort.”

Boehner added that the investigation, contrary to Democrats’ allegations, “is not going to be a circus. This is a serious investigation.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest, speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One as they traveled with President Barack Obama to Arkansas and California, said: “I think that the fact that the National Republican Congressional Committee is raising money off the creation of this committee is a pretty good indication of the political motivation that’s at work here.”

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He added that the Obama administration had produced “extensive materials to support a wide range of other investigations that have already been conducted.”

Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state when the attack occurred and has been criticized by Republicans for her handling of the incident, told a forum in New York: “There are a lot of reasons why despite all of the hearings, all of the information that has been provided, some choose not to be satisfied and choose to continue to move forward.

“That’s their choice and I do not believe there is any reason for it to continue in this way, but they get to call the shots in the Congress,” Clinton said in comments televised on U.S. media.

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Clinton is considered the Democratic front-runner if she enters the race for president in 2016.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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