Rep. Gohmert: Name Independent Counsel to Investigate Obama on Benghazi

Terence P. Jeffrey | November 14, 2012 | 4:47pm EST
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(AP Photo)

( - Rep. Louie Gohmert, a former Texas state judge who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, says the Justice Department needs to name an independent counsel to investigate President Barack Obama and various Executive Branch agencies to find out the truth about what the administration was doing in Benghazi, Libya.

On Sept. 11, terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate there and also an “annex” operated by the CIA and killed four Americans, including U.S. Amb. Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, an Air Force veteran serving as a foreign service officer, and former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who, according to a “detailed CIA timeline” reported by David Ignatius of the Washington Post, were doing security work for the CIA.

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“We need to investigate the attorney general’s boss, the president,” said Gohmert. “Because people were killed and this White House has been dishonest.”

On Thursday, a group called Special Operations Speaks, which describes itself as an organization of “veterans, legatees, and supporters of the Special Operations communities of all the Armed Forces,” will deliver a petition to Congress, signed by more than 100,000 people, calling for an independent counsel investigation of the Benghazi scandal.

A number of retired generals have signed the petition. Among them are retired Army Brig. Gen. Joe Stringham, retired Army Brig. Gen. Kenneth R. Symmes, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Philip Drew, retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Jim Hobson and retired Air Force Lt. Gen.  LeRoy Manor. Retired Rear Adm. Mariann Drew has also signed.

Gohmert explained that under existing law the Justice Department has the power to name an independent counsel to conduct an investigation when the Justice Department itself would have a conflict of interest in doing so.

“It has to be appointed by the Justice Department, but that’s why we’re demanding it be done,” said Gohmert. “But the appropriate time is anytime there is a conflict of interest that would dictate a need for such.”

“Then you look at the Department of Justice potentially investigating the intelligence agency without an independent council,” said Gohmert. “That just never would work. We need an independent council to do that or oversight is not going to happen.”

When asked if he was calling for an independent counsel who would specifically have the mandate to investigate the president of the United States, Gohmert said that he was.

“That’s right,” said Gohmert. “The president is involved in this whole thing. And you know there are all kinds of stories, and no truth is being presented from this White House as to what our ambassador was doing in Benghazi, when we knew it was a dangerous situation. We knew the embassy wasn’t there. There was inadequate security. He had met with the Turkish minister, official, there. What was going on? Was there a deal about arms? I mean, there are so many stories, and this administration will not be forthcoming.

“We need to know what the president knew, when he knew it. What the AG knew, when he knew it. What the CIA knew, when they knew it. What the State Department knew and when they knew it,” said Gohmert. “What was it that was so important that we get four Americans killed, including our ambassador, for the first ambassador in thirty-four years, thirty-three years to be killed. We need to know these things.”

Gohmert said that if the Justice Department fails to name an independent counsel to investigate the Benghazi scandal, House Speaker John Boehner should set up a special select committee to do it in the House of Representatives.

“But if they will not appoint an independent council so that we can get to the truth, then the next best thing would be to have a select committee,” said Gohmert.

“It would not be as powerful as if you have an independent council with that authority, because you can’t prosecute, but if that ends up having to be the way we have to gather evidence then so be it,” said Gohmert. “But that would be far better to have a real prosecutor doing that.”

“It would be up to the speaker as to whether or not we would have a select committee, because let’s face it something like that would not happen in the House without the speaker’s agreement and we could use a little more leadership in that area,” said Gohmert. “This is too important to this nation’s standing in the world.”

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