Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, the newly appointed Benghazi Select Committee chairman, vowed Sunday to keep politics and political fundraising out of his group’s fact-finding mission.
“The facts are neither Republican nor Democrat,” the South Carolina lawmaker told “Fox News Sunday.” “They're facts.”
Gowdy, a former prosecutor, also dismissed the notion that he wants Democrats to boycott joining the committee.
“How does it benefit me when from Day One they’re excluded?” he asked. “I want this to transcend politics.”
The GOP-controlled House voted Thursday to form a so-called congressional “select” committee, which gives members such special powers as the authority to subpoena documents and to centralize the investigations into the 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed.
Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., told Fox his party will “absolutely” participate in the committee’s investigation “if it's a fair-and-balanced process.”
“We've always said we're ready to participate,” he continued. “We have a responsibility.”
Critics of the committee also say it was formed so Republicans can continue hammering away on the two-year-old issue through the 2014 and 2016 election cycles.
Gowdy also attempted to put an end to both parties accusing each of trying to raise money off the deadly terror attacks, or at least stop Republicans.
“I said I will never -- and have never -- sent out any funds literature trying to raise money in the grief and the tragedy of four dead Americans. And I have asked my colleagues to follow suit,” he said.
The National Republican Congressional Committee launched a website last week called BenghaziWatchdogs.com, which asks supporters for donations.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee used its website to blast the NRCC for apparently trying to use the site to fundraising off Benghazi, saying it is “despicable and insulting and has no place in the national conversation.” However, the post Thursday was near a standing homepage “Contribute Now” button.
And Gowdy on Sunday accused Democrats of having “selective amnesia” because they have used tragedies to raise money.
“They raised money on Sandy Hook, they raised money on Katrina, they raised money on Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said. “It would be helpful if our colleagues on the other side of the aisle did not have selective amnesia when it comes to what’s appropriate to raise money off of.”