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FOX "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" - Transcript - Benghazi


Location: Washington, DC


VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman Trey Gowdy joins us. Nice to see you, Congressman.

REP. TREY GOWDY, R-S.C.: Good to see you. How are you?

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm very well. And I understand late breaking today, the news that on May 8th, there will be hearings before Chairman Issa's committee. I assume it -- will it be calling these whistleblowers to testify?

GOWDY: Well, I'm not going to -- I'm not at liberty to disclose the identity of the witnesses. I will just say what I have said previously, which is it is going to be a very informational, instructive hearing. I would encourage you to follow it.
And Benghazi is warming up. It is not going away, despite the efforts of this administration.

VAN SUSTEREN: What makes it informational? I'll try going around that way.

GOWDY: Well, Greta, you were a very accomplished attorney, and I think you know that hearsay evidence is not so interesting. First-hand accounts by eyewitnesses much more compelling, much more persuasive.

So I would again repeat for your audience and those who may be watching, if you also have firsthand knowledge about what happened in Benghazi, secure counsel, see Chairman Issa, get counsel. We'll have it appointed. You will be protected.
So let me just say that next week will be a wonderful opportunity for us to hear non-hearsay accounts of what happened in Benghazi.

VAN SUSTEREN: I guess that leads, then, to my second question. Now - - now -- now we know that it's going to be people with firsthand account of Benghazi, so I assume that they were on the ground in Benghazi. I will make that assumption. I don't know -- you have not confirmed it or not, but I'll make that assumption.

But the State Department has said that they have already -- they've already investigated, the accountability review board, which was an outsourced group of people by the State Department, that they fully have investigated it.

Are you saying that you -- that you are not accepting their investigation and that you yourself want to talk to the witnesses?

GOWDY: Oh, that's an understatement, to say that we haven't accepted it. Greta, how in the world can you have a comprehensive review of Benghazi when you don't even bother to talk to the secretary of state? She wasn't even interviewed by the so-called accountability review board!

There's a reason that students don't grade their own papers. There's a reason defendants don't sentence themselves. And there's the reason the State Department doesn't get to investigate itself, determine whether or not it made errors in Benghazi. That is Congress's job.

So yes, it would be a -- a -- a wild understatement for us to say we do not have confidence in the accountability review board and its conclusions.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, one thing you and I have talked to off- camera on many occasions (INAUDIBLE) we talk about the courtroom and how different it is, is that you get to ask questions until you get the answer and you get -- in Congress, you have, like, four minutes or five minutes. So nothing ever gets fully developed.
Have you considered sort of, like, you know, joining forces with some of your colleagues and someone taking all the -- all the time so that the questions really can be asked, rather than the sort of -- you do three minutes, the next person three minutes, and we never hear what happened?

GOWDY: We have had those conversations before. Of course, when you're dealing with members of Congress, each one of them individually wants all the time. So I am fortunate to serve on Oversight with folks like Jimmy Jordan and Jason Chaffetz, who are very strong on a host of issues but don't have courtroom experience.
And I think you are going to see a very well-prepared side of the dais for the Republicans on the hearing next week. I've been preparing all weekend for it. And as you say, I'll only get five minutes. I've been approached by colleagues who would like to yield their time to me. Of course, the frustration is you get five minutes, and then you go to the other side. So whatever points you were making, you have to start all over again.

Chairman Issa has certain tools at his disposal which he doesn't use very often, but they are tools nonetheless for us to have more continuity. This is such an important hearing that I expect and hope that Chairman Issa will use every arrow in his quiver to make sure that the audience doesn't have this continual interruption of five minutes here and then five minutes changing the topic.
And I know firsthand, because there has been coordination among the members on the Republican side, how we can present this case as seamlessly as possible come next week.

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