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Special Report

All-Star Panel: Benghazi select committee gets under way

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," September 19, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR:  Every week we ask to you vote online in our Friday Lightning Round poll for your favorite panel for this – the Lightning Round.  This week you chose the first hearing of the Benghazi select committee.  We're back with our panel. 

Steve, we cornered the chairman of that committee, Trey Gowdy, for "Special Report" Online on Wednesday.  He was gracious enough to come by after a live interview. We asked him about these new allegations about the former State Department official who says that there was essentially a paper separation of what they were going to turn over to the Accountability Review Board. This is Mr. Maxwell, take a listen. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. TREY GOWDY, R - SC:  I did talk to Mr. Maxwell.  There was an apprehension on his behalf that if he came forward that there would be retribution, which is understandable. A lot of witnesses have that concern.  But, in fairness, if you were going to examine Mr. Maxwell, you would ask him, why didn't you come forward sooner? And you would also ask him, who else was in the room that can corroborate your version of what happened?  And that's the only way I know to run an investigation.  Who else can tell us whether this happened or not and then go interview them. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER:  So, it sounds like it's going to be pretty in methodical. 

HAYES:  Methodical, and I was glad he was bringing skepticism to the side that would presumably enhance the case that Republicans were making, and that's a story that Raymond Maxwell is telling, that he was, that they witnessed this.  And Trey Gowdy saying in effect, look, we are not buying it.  We are going to investigate it.  We are going to make sure that it's true or determine whether it's true or not.  I thought he said several things like that.  That was what was notable about that first hearing was it was sort of devoid of politics. 

BAIER:  The DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, A.B., this piece in Politico was clearly the long knives.  A lot of people pointed to the White House. Since then a lot of it you can see it, it's a big piece about how she is not doing her job at the DNC. Then all there was all this outpouring how she is great, and she even defended herself on Twitter. What about this? 

STODDARD:  I read all the reporting, and I think it really actually makes President Obama look worse than Debbie Wasserman Schultz. He is running a centralized and insular administration.  They don't make or keep friends with the Democratic Party unless they are donors.  Debbie Wasserman Schultz was not a handpicked leader from Nancy Pelosi or anything else.  She has earned the respect in this town of other Democrats through hard work from the membership up.  And any elected who runs the Democratic National Committee is going to have their own PAC and keeping their eye on their own political future. That is absolutely par for the course.  So I think it actually says a lot about this White House if they wanted to heave her in 2012.
 
They should have and they didn't. 

KRAUTHAMMER:  Josh Earnest issued the most tepid endorsement of her when he was asked about the story that reminded me of the classic story about the chairman of the chemistry department at a major university who was stricken and hospitalized and receives a message by a vote of nine to seven the faculty has voted to wish him well. That's exactly how the white has treated her. 

(LAUGHTER)

BAIER:  There is a report, NBC is reporting that feds are not -- they haven't found anything that connects Chris Christie to Bridge-gate, so- called. He has come out and said, well, we will see where this all goes. 
But what about this report and the potential impact for Chris Christie? 

KRAUTHAMMER:  Look, I think it's very important, because if anybody is going to be relatively impartial in this inquiry, it's going to be the feds, and I think it helps him in saying I didn't do it.  And it will begin to fade into the past even more than it has. 

BAIER:  They publicly say they have reached no conclusions. Go ahead. 

STODDARD:  You know what, the donors are still too afraid to give Chris Christie money.  They think there are more shoes to drop.  So it's good for him, but in terms of 2016 I think it could be too late. 

HAYES:  I expect wall-to-wall coverage on a variety of cable networks and in the mainstream media of this new and important finding. 

BAIER:  Maybe one that has four letters. Winners and losers, next.

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