WASHINGTON -- Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) told the families and friends of people killed in the 2012 Benghazi attack that the "real tragedy" was that Hillary Clinton's emails weren't reviewed in previous investigations into the incident.
During Thursday's House Benghazi committee hearing with the former Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential candidate, Gowdy, the chairman, took issue with Democrats who framed his probe as a political witch hunt aimed at hurting Clinton in the polls. They presented a stack of nine past reports on Benghazi that found no wrongdoing by Clinton.
"This is an investigation, which is why it's so sad that nowhere in that stack that you just put up there were the emails of Secretary Clinton, the emails of the ambassador, 50,000 pages worth of documents, eyewitnesses," Gowdy said.
"That's the real tragedy," he continued. "To the family and the friends, when you're told that there have been seven previous investigations and an [Accountability Review Board], you should immediately ask, 'Why did you miss so many witnesses? Why did you miss so many documents?'"
Gowdy spokesman Jamal Ware said the chairman was making the point that past investigations weren't thorough enough.
"Clearly this is a reference to the inadequacies of the prior investigations, and for anyone to suggest otherwise shows they are not interested in uncovering all the facts, and providing the final, definitive accounting of Benghazi for the families and the American people," Ware said in an email.
Six hours into Thursday's hearing, the committee hadn't uncovered many new details about the attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Clinton is expected to face the committee for up to 11 hours.
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