Nearly two years after it was created, the House Benghazi Committee is nearly done with its work, according to a top Republican lawmaker. And the timing of it couldn’t be worse for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential hopes.
“We’re getting close to wrapping it up,” Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo told The Hill on Friday.
After two years of interviewing witnesses and reviewing documents, the news that the panel is nearly done is certain to have repercussions for Democrat Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency.
According to reports, the committee’s findings will likely be released before July’s Democratic presidential convention.
The announcement echos the panel chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy’s email in March that the committee has made “considerable progress” investigating the deadly 2012 attacks that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens.
The Benghazi inquiry has gone on longer than the 9/11 Commission took to investigate the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001, spending more than $6 million in the process, Democrats said. They say the only goal of the investigation is to undermine Clinton’s candidacy.
Republicans say the committee has been hindered by stonewalling by the State Department and other executive branch agencies.
“Because so many of our interviews are classified, behind-closed-door interviews, not open hearings, it has created a vacuum in which other members of Congress have commented on or speculated to what we’re doing or what our motivations are,” said one member of the committee, who asked for anonymity to speak candidly to The Hill. “We remain committed to leaving no stone unturned.”
The panel has interviewed a total of 83 witnesses since its creation in May 2014, including 65 never before questioned by lawmakers, Gowdy said in an email to The Associated Press.
The committee also has gained access to documents from the State Department and CIA and to a cache of emails from Clinton and Stevens, who was killed on Sept. 11, 2012 in twin attacks on the diplomatic outpost and CIA annex in Benghazi.
“The American people and the families of the victims deserve the truth, and I’m confident the value and fairness of our investigation will be abundantly clear to everyone when they see the report for themselves,” Gowdy said in an email.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.