By: Hope Hodge
While Senate Republicans call for a "Watergate-style" special joint committee to probe the administration's failure to prevent American deaths in Benghazi, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) is advocating another tactic employed in the famous scandal: the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate.
Backed by a 100,000-signature petition presented by conservative military organization Special Operations Speaks, Gohmert made his case at a Thursday press conference outside the Capitol.
"We need to know when the commander-in-chief became aware that the people that were dying under his command were actually out there needing help. We need to have answers," he said.
Famously, Congress appointed Archibald Cox as special independent prosecutor in the Watergate scandal. Since then, the statute governing such appointments has expired, but Gohmert noted that the move was still possible in cases with suspected conflicts of interest.
"For heaven's sakes, you have the FBI investigating the CIA. You have CIA issues about truthfulness," he said.
Gohmert told Human Events in an interview that he wasn't sure who in the administration might be indicted in such an investigation, but said it was important to put the force of criminal punishment and jail time behind official examination of security errors or misinformation surrounding the Benghazi tragedy.
A joint select committee, Gohmert said, did not have that kind of authority.
"They do not have the threat of putting someone in jail if a crime has been committed," he said.
In Watergate, both measures--the committee and the prosecutor--were used to investigate the alleged wrongdoing of the Richard Nixon administration.
Gohmert said he plans to bring his proposal to the attention of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) when Congress returns after the Thanksgiving holiday.
"We had people in harm's way on behalf of this nation," he said. "They were under threat of death. Help was not forthcoming. And we got a cover-up, pure and simple."