On September 29th, Representative Trey Gowdy, the Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, declined his colleagues’ calls for him to run for House majority leader.
The next day, one of them claimed he would retire, according to U.S. News and World Report.
“Trey wants to go back to South Carolina, and God bless him for that,” Rep. John Fleming, R-La., said on C-SPAN Wednesday morning.
Fleming was interpreting something the South Carolina Republican reportedly said during a GOP caucus meeting. He said Gowdy would leave Congress at the end of his term.
“He plans to go back home, and he wants to finish his work on the Benghazi special committee, but he loves South Carolina and he loves his family, and he wants to go back and spend the rest of his life there,” Fleming explained.
“He’ll be sorely missed,” he added.
Gowdy’s office, however, immediately denied Fleming’s interpretation.
“No, he is not announcing his retirement,” Gowdy’s spokeswoman Amanda Duvall said to the Washington Examiner.” He has not made any announcement on 2016, anything else is incorrect,” Duvall said according to U.S. News.
Gowdy was first elected in the tea party wave of 2010 and represents South Carolina’s conservative 4th District. And while he has indicated in the past his intentions to return to South Carolina at some point, he apparently is not going yet.
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committe, said lawmakers never came across evidence indicating the station chief had told his team to “stand down” and stop a rescue mission during the 2012 attack at Benghazi, Libya.
Five security contractors made the allegation in a new book, accusing the CIA station chief of delaying a rescue mission.
Contractors and security officers told the House committee about 25 minutes passed between learning about the attack and the time the security contractors departed for their rescue mission, Ruppersberger said.
“After interviewing these individuals, including those writing the book, and all of the others on the ground that night, both Republicans and Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that there was not, in fact, an order to stand down and no evidence was found to support such a claim,” Ruppersberger said.
He noted that a high-ranking CIA official told the committee the outcome could have been worse if the rescue team had tried to act sooner.
Ruppersberger said the U.S. officials in charge of the CIA annex deliberated “thoughtfully, reasonably and quickly” about whether the rescue team should wait for further security.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said Friday “There are still facts to learn about Benghazi and information that needs to be explained in greater detail to the American people. And this Committee will do just that,” he said.