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Congressman Jim Jordan Reacts To The Benghazi Hearings Wednesday

Friday, May 10, 2013

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GB: Happy to welcome to the program now Congressman Jim Jordan, who represents the 4th Congressional district in the great state of Ohio, Hugh’s home turf, as he reminds us incessantly. Congressman Jordan, it’s great to have you.

JJ: Good to be with you, Guy.

GB: I have to take my hat off to you and your colleagues on the House Oversight Committee, at least on your side of the aisle. One of the worries I had going into the hearings yesterday, Congressman, was that the temptation to grandstand, and to express outrage, because this is such an outrageous story, would be so high, would be so tempting for members of Congress with whom you’re very familiar, that perhaps there would be fewer incisive questions asked, and more speeches given.

JJ: Yeah.

GB: And that was not the case. You guys stuck to it, you were focused, you were not partisan. You were fact-finding. Was that a team effort? Did you guys sit down together and say to each other we’re going to do this the right way?

JJ: Yeah, well, first, I appreciate the kind words. I think it did come across and hit that level of credibility that it needed to hit and accomplish what, getting at the truth, which is what we were after. But that is a testimony to Chairman Issa and our great, we have good staff on that Committee. And these guys said look, let’s focus in on this, there’s this subject area, there’s this other subject area, there is the military question, there’s the Ambassador Rice going on TV and misleading the American people line of questioning, there is this obstruction and what they did to Greg Hicks on the Chaffetz line of questioning. And so there’s the ARB report. And so we had teams focused on those lines of questions, and I think it helped give the American people a better picture. But what, the biggest takeaway, Guy, in my judgment, was Elijah Cummings admitting in the Committee hearing that we need more hearings.

GB: Yes.

JJ: It’s not just Republicans, and it’s not just conservatives. Here is the ranking member on the Committee saying we need more hearings. And so when that happens, you know you’re starting to uncover some things that are important for the American people to get.

GB: Yeah, it was a rare moment of bipartisan agreement during the hearing, which was we need more hearings. You’re absolutely right about that. And one of the reasons I had hoped that you would come on the show today is because I’m not sucking up because you’re the guest, I wanted you, because among your colleagues, you had one of the most, I guess, useful question and answer sessions, particularly your exchange with Greg Hicks. How did you approach your line of questioning? And what do you think was gleaned from that time?

JJ: Well, the story tells itself. I mean, Greg Hicks was a good witness, and more importantly, he is a brave American who has served his country for 22 years. He’s had stellar evaluations, strong reviews. After the terrible events of that night, where he handled himself in such a professional way, he got attaboys from everybody who mattered. The Secretary of State called him and thanked him for his great work under extreme circumstances. The president of the United States called him. And then it all changed because this guy had the honor and the courage to simply do what was right and focus on the truth. And where it really came to a head, and how everything started to change for this man, was when Jason Chaffetz, our colleague, went to Libya to find out what happened, and why four Americans lost their lives. And for the first time in Mr. Hicks’ tenure in all his history of 22 years serving the country, for the first time, he was told when the Congressional delegation comes, you are not to meet with Representative Chaffetz without the lawyer that the State Department is going to send. And I asked him this simple question. In all the dozens and dozens of Congressional delegations you’ve entertained around the world in your various posts, have you ever had that order given to you? Has that ever been the case? And he said no, first time and only time. And it goes to, and the person who cared most about that was Cheryl Mills, the personal chief of staff to Secretary Clinton, the counselor to the Secretary. And as Greg Hicks said on the witness stand yesterday, when that lady calls, it’s a call you don’t want to get, but a call you always take. That lady has influence. That lady has power. And she was the one who said that lawyer had better be in every single meeting, and you are not to talk with Representative Chaffetz without him present.

GB: Yeah, and Congressman Jim Jordan is our guest on the Hugh Hewitt Show. Hugh played a lot of your exchange with Greg Hicks on the program yesterday. One thing that struck me, Congressman, was almost immediately, right out of the gate, the first few Democrats, and then this continued, used their questioning time to try to poke holes in the testimony of the witnesses, but also to really flagrantly, it was not subtle, play political defense for the administration, for Secretary Clinton, for the Obama administration.

JJ: Yes.

GB: They weren’t trying to tiptoe around it. It was purely politicized. And the whole time they were complaining about you guys politicizing it.

JJ: Yeah.

GB: It was just sort of surreal.

JJ: Yeah, no, they always accuse you of what they’re doing. They were politicizing it, doing nothing but political defense of the administration and of the State Department, and yet they were accusing us of that very fact. And all we’re saying, Congressman Gowdy said it best. There is no statute of limitations on the truth. And the American people have waited over seven months to get to the truth, and now we have the Democrats saying we need more hearings to get to the truth. Now, we’re finally making some progress. And I would say this. I had the privilege of meeting Tyrone Woods’ father. And the one, what a wonderful Christian man, a wonderful individual and he said to me, Congressman, I don’t know any more today than I knew seven months ago. He deserves answers. Sometimes we forget this. We get focused on just…but people who lost loved ones, they would just, they just want to know what happened. And so that’s another, and Congressman Gowdy is exactly right. There is no statute of limitations on the truth. Let’s get to the truth. The Democrats agree we need more hearings to do just that.

GB: And this wasn’t about politics. I went on TV on Fox earlier, and they wanted to talk about 2016 and Hillary, and I said okay, fine, that’s a political discussions, but that’s not what the hearing was about. It was never about it. and the people who were bringing up the political element was the other side while they were playing politics.

JJ: Yeah.

GB: And Congressman, I want to play for you something that Senator Tom Coburn said this morning on MSNBC that was intriguing to me. Let’s play cut 10:

TC: Well, I think the State Department has real trouble. Having sat on the Intelligence Committee and seen this, the review of emails that went back and forth as they developed the list, there’s a glaring problem there that will eventually come out, and I can’t talk about it now. But there was an omission that was given to the Intelligence Committee.

MB: Well, can you talk around it a little more?

TC: I can’t. I cannot do that and keep my obligation to what I can’t talk about, other than to say that I think there was a glaring omission in terms of what was submitted to the Intelligence Committee.

JJ: Wow.

GB: Congressman, do you have any idea what he might be talking about?

JJ: I do not. But obviously, Senator Coburn is an honorable man, and if he says there’s a glaring omission, then you take him at his word. That is big news. Again, I’ve said this a couple of times, Guy, but it just underscores what Ranking Member Cummings said yesterday. There needs to be more hearings. I mean, you need…different issue. Who gave Col. Gibson the order in Tripoli not to let military personnel board that C-130 and fly to Benghazi?

GB: Twice. Twice.

JJ: …to give assistance? Who gave that order?

GB: Yeah.

JJ: We don’t know. But what we do know is Col. Gibson has said what Greg Hicks said yesterday Col. Gibson said. I can’t believe this, you know, that we’re not allowed to put these guys on the plane to send them to Benghazi and help.

GB: Yeah, and they were furious, and rightfully so. Congressman Jim Jordan, our guest, and we played that clip from Tom Coburn. It sounds to me like there’s another shoe or two or three waiting to drop on Benghazi. The story is not over. And as Congressman Jordan emphasized repeatedly, and some Democrats on the Committee evidently agree, there need to be more hearings. And we will stay on this, because the American people and the families of the fallen deserve the truth on the Hugh Hewitt Show.

End of interview.

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