Family members of the four Americans who died in the 2012 Benghazi attack told Fox News Wednesday that after meeting with members of the House committee probing the attack, they have never been more confident that investigators will get to the truth.
They also said there was a surprising amount of common ground between Republicans and Democrats on the highly charged Benghazi Select Committee chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy,R-S.C.
Members of the Select Committee met for the first time this week with the family members, wrapping up Wednesday with a session with the ranking Democratic member, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland.
Charles Woods, whose son Ty Woods, was killed during the mortar attack on the CIA Annex during the third wave of the assault, told Fox in an exclusive interview that there was common ground among Republicans and Democrats on the committee, and he had made a personal connection with Cummings, who described how he had also lost someone close to him.
“He relayed that he had a family member that was as close as a son who at age 20 was killed and maybe - I told him - maybe it's because of this similar experience that we have had, of losing a loved one, that I said I could tell at the very beginning that your heart is in the right place,”Woods added.
Woods also met with Rep.Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who explained how she was rescued after her helicopter was shot down in Iraq in 2004, and that she understood the importance of “leaving no one behind.” Duckworth, a Blackhawk helicopter pilot for the Illinois National Guard, lost both her legs and has partial use of her right arm after an RPG hit her helicopter.
“She was in the military. She was rescued when a helicopter went down in the Middle East and that's the situation with Ty or anyone in the military, is that you place yourself in very dangerous situations there is that code that our military has always had, that you will be rescued - no matter what,”Woods said.
In the nearly two years since his son was killed defending the CIA operation from the roof of the annex, Woods said he slowly has found peace with the events.
“I am able to handle this situation because I know sometime in the next 30 years I am going to see my son face to face,” Woods said. “So really what just happened- is just an interruption in our relationship. The only difference now is I just can’t call him on the phone and talk to him but I know where he's at and I look forward to seeing him one of these days.”
Pat Smith, the mother of foreign service officer Sean Smith, said,"It's the one thing that I wanted was this investigation to get the answers.And the people say that they're gonna do their best so this is what I'm hoping for.
“At least somebody'll give me something.Tell me, maybe they'll even be able to tell me the truth.That would be wonderful.”
Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.