P. 13

A4   U.S. NEWS
              Thursday 1 February 2018

            GOP congressman who led the Benghazi probe will leave House

            By KEVIN FREKING
             Associated Press
            WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep.
            Trey  Gowdy,  a  powerful
            GOP  watchdog  who  built
            his  name  leading  the  in-
            vestigation  into  the  2012
            attacks  against  Americans
            in Benghazi, Libya, has be-
            come the latest prominent
            Republican to head for the
            exits rather than run for an-
            other term.
            The  former  South  Carolina
            prosecutor  who  is  chair-
            man  of  the  House  Over-
            sight and Government Re-
            form  Committee  said  in  a
            statement Wednesday that
            he planned to return to the
            justice  system,  though  he
            did not elaborate.
            The  committee’s  lengthy
            investigation  into  the  at-
            tacks  that  killed  the  U.S.
            ambassador     and    three
            other  Americans  focused
            heavily  on  Hillary  Clinton’s
            role  as  secretary  of  state,
            though an 800-page report
            produced no smoking gun
            pointing to wrongdoing by
            her.  The investigation also
            revealed that Clinton used   In this Dec. 7, 2017 file photo, House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., speaks during a House Judiciary
            a  private  email  server  for   hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Gowdy says he will not seek re-election.
            government work, prompt-                                                                                                        Associated Press
            ing an FBI investigation that
            proved  to  be  an  albatross  pect  of  being  term-limited  investigation  into  Russian  release  of  a  memo,  draft-  cluding some that ended in
            in  the  Democrat’s  2016  from that post or difficult re-  election  interference  and  ed by Republicans, that al-  death sentences.
            presidential campaign.       election prospects.          any  possible  coordination  leges abuses of the govern-  South Carolina’s top feder-
            Today, Gowdy is involved in  Gowdy  did  not  have  such  with  Donald  Trump’s  presi-  ment  surveillance  powers  al prosecutor slot is techni-
            one of the House’s Russia in-  obstacles, which made his  dential campaign.            in  the  Russia  investigation.  cally open.
            vestigations and the leader  decision  all  the  more  sur-  In the committee’s private  Democrats have called the  It’s  now  occupied  by  a
            of a renewed review of the  prising.                      interviews, he has been the  memo  a  “distraction”  and  career  prosecutor  serv-
            FBI and Clinton’s emails.    “Whatever skills I may have  chief  questioner  for  major-  a  selectively  edited  group  ing  as  acting  U.S.  attor-
            Gowdy, 53, was elected in  are better utilized in a court-  ity  Republicans  and  has  of GOP talking points.      ney  for  more  than  a  year.
            the  2010  tea  party  wave  room  than  in  Congress,  relied  on  his  prosecutorial  Gowdy’s  love  for  the  le-  But   Wednesday’s   deci-
            that  returned  control  of  and I enjoy our justice sys-  experience.                 gal system is evident even  sion  prompted  no  such
            the  House  to  Republicans.  tem more than our political  Among  those  witnesses  in  the  naming  of  his  fam-  announcements  from  the
            He is the ninth House com-   system,” Gowdy said.         were  the  president’s  son,  ily  dogs,  Jury  and  Bailiff.  state’s  two  senators,  who
            mittee head to step down,  Gowdy  has  played  an  im-    Donald  Trump  Jr.,  former  Gowdy was as an assistant  would  propose  a  replace-
            although several departing  portant  role  in  the  House  White House chief strategist  federal prosecutor in South  ment  candidate  to  the
            colleagues faced the pros-   Intelligence   Committee’s  Steve  Bannon  and  Glenn  Carolina for six years before  Trump administration.
                                                                      Simpson, a Washington op-    winning election as solicitor  GOP  Rep.  Steve  Stivers
                                                                      position  researcher  who  covering part of the state’s  of  Ohio,  chairman  of  the
                                                                      was behind a dossier of al-  conservative northwest.      campaign committee that
                                                                      legations about Trump and  Elected  to  three  terms,  oversees  Republican  elec-
                                                                      his ties to Russia.          Gowdy  earned  a  reputa-    tion  efforts  in  the  House,
                                                                      This  week,  Gowdy  was  tion  as  a  hard-charging  predicted  that  Gowdy’s
                                                                      among     the   committee  lawman  who  prosecuted  seat will stay in Republican
                                   members  pushing  for  the  a wide range of cases, in-    control in November.q
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