This week, Congress tapped Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) to chair the Select Committee on the Benghazi attacks. If you're wondering why, here's just a sampling of Gowdy's gems - on the floor of the House and elsewhere. (Click on any link to watch the corresponding video.)
#1 Responding to Nancy Pelosi about the Benghazi hearings:
“Well, I certainly hope the Democrats participate. I continue to think that some things transcend politics like the murder of four of our fellow citizens and whether or not you trust government. That is not a red or blue issue. That is an American issue. As for whether or not they boycott, I hope they don’t.”
“I can tell you this. It is not going to be evenly constituted and when she was Speaker Pelosi, she certainly showed no interests in having an equal number of Republicans and Democrats.”
#2 Addressing Attorney General Eric Holder on mandatory minimum drug sentences:
“Your memo is trumping a Congressional statute. You don’t have the discretion on whether to follow the law or not.”
#3 Gowdy's “Pop Quiz”- Who said this? (Hint: the answer to every question is “Senator Barack Obama”)
- “These last few years we’ve seen an unacceptable abuse of power, having a president whose priority is expanding his own power.”
- “No law can give Congress a backbone if it refuses to stand off as the coequal branch the Constitution made it.”
- “What do we do with a president who can basically change what Congress passed by attaching a letter saying I don’t agree with this part or that part?”
- “I taught the Constitution for ten years, I believe in the Constitution.
#4 His thoughts on Susan Rice:
"She was fabulously wrong when she said it the first time, and stunningly arrogant in her refusal to express any regret for lying to our fellow citizens.
“I would love the chance to ask follow-up questions of Susan Rice because David Gregory apparently did not avail himself of that opportunity. Greta, I just listened to the clip – I get tougher questions in the Bojangles drive-through than he asked her.”
#5 On Lois Lerner & the IRS scandal:
“The same Constitution that allows her the right, if she wants to, to sit there and say nothing, allows these groups the right to petition their government for redress.”
#6 On Congressional pay raises:
“Members of Congress are incredibly blessed and fortune to have the jobs that we have. Nobody makes us run. Every two years we offer for public office, and if you don't want to do it then don't run. But the notion that you can make $174,000 in this country and be underpaid is laughable.”
#7 On Constitutional checks and balances:
You know, in the oath that brand-new citizens take, it contains six different references to ‘the law.’ If it’s good enough for us to ask brand-new citizens to affirm their devotion to the law, is it too much to ask that the president do the same?
If a president can change some laws, can he change ALL laws? Can he change election laws? Can he change discrimination laws? Are there any laws, under your theory, that he actually HAS to enforce?
What is our recourse, Mr. Speaker? What is our remedy?
#8 Reacting to Nancy Pelosi's comments that the House voting to hold Eric Holder in contempt was an “attempt to suppress the vote”:
“It's really beneath the office of a member of Congress to say something that outrageous. The fact that she was once the Speaker is mind-numbing, honestly...[her comments are] mind-numbingly stupid.”
#9 Trey Gowdy on potential selection to head the Benghazi Special Committee:
“I’m going to help the committee regardless of any position I have. I will volunteer to be a summer intern.”
#10 Gowdy talks about the President's promises:
“The president already has a Nobel Prize for peace. I think he’s shooting for one in fiction.”
#11 In this House GOP press conference from October 2013, he explains in the most succinct way possible why these hearings need to take place:
Congress is supposed to provide oversight, the voters are supposed to provide oversight. And you [the media] were supposed to provide oversight. That's why you have special liberties and that's why you have special protections.
I am not surprised that the President of the United States called this a phony scandal. I'm not surprised that Secretary Clinton asked, “What difference does it make?” I'm not even surprised that Jay Carney said that Benghazi happened 'a long time ago.' I'm just surprised at how many people bought it.
Trey Gowdy speaks for many Americans who want honor and accountability restored to the American government.