Wednesday was the culmination of the long-awaited first public hearing by the U.S. House select committee on Benghazi. Led by former prosecutor Rep. Trey Gowdy, some expected – for better or worse – a spirited exchange of condemnation within the ranks of the bipartisan panel.
As Washington Post writer Dana Milbank noted, Gowdy’s penchant for “theatrical outbursts” was absent from Wednesday’s hearing, replaced by a “bonhomie” he said had been missing in previous discussion of the deadly 2012 attack. The issue at hand, namely the Department of State’s subsequent adoption of policies that could prevent a similar attack in the future, was put forward for consideration by Democrat committee member Rep. Adam Schiff. Generally, the hearing stuck to the parameters of that discussion, leading even Democrats who were against the formation of the committee in the first place to applaud Gowdy’s direction.
“I thank you for holding this hearing today,” ranking Democrat committee member Elijah Cummings told the chairman.
Despite his assertion that the panel was a superfluous exercise after a number of previous inquiries into the Benghazi incident had already been completed, Cummings thanked Gowdy for accepting and exploring Schiff’s suggested topic.
The Maryland Democrat continued by lauding the hearing as a “transformational moment” comprised of “the kind of oversight that can be productive.”
Both men applauded Schiff’s idea; and prior to the end of the day’s events, Cummings suggested that State Department officials return for a future hearing to discuss what safety measures have been put into place.
Gowdy called the suggestion “an excellent idea” and pledged that it “will be done.”
Photo Credit: Twitter/Holly Keller
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.