Tags: Benghazi Scandal | Michael Morell | Benghazi | Trey Gowdy

Ex-CIA Director Morell Backs Benghazi Probe

Image: Ex-CIA Director Morell Backs Benghazi Probe

By Drew MacKenzie   |   Tuesday, 13 May 2014 09:41 AM

Former Central Intelligence Agency acting director Michael Morell has thrown his support behind the special House committee to investigate the Benghazi terror attacks, even though he has serious concerns about Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy heading the panel.

In a speech Monday to a group founded by his former CIA boss Leon Panetta, Morell said he believed the congressional investigation would finally uncover the truth behind the siege on the U.S. mission in Libya that killed four Americans in September 2012, Politico reported.

"It might be surprising for you to hear me say this, but I am a supporter of the creation of this committee because I want all the facts to come together in one place and be presented as one — by one entity, as one thing, so the American people can see all of this," he said at the Panetta Institute in Monterey, Calif.

"I am hopeful that at least getting the facts on the table will be helpful. A lot of people have looked at this, but the polls show that the American people still have questions. I want to make sure that all of those questions are cleared up.

"There are still some questions about the role of the agency. And there are still questions about my own personal role, and I want to clear that up."

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Morell, who served at the CIA for 33 years and was a deputy director, said he hoped that the Benghazi scandal could finally be laid to rest by the probe "unless politics takes over."

The House voted last week to form a special select committee on Benghazi that will be led by Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, with seven GOP members on the panel and five Democrats.

But House Democrats, who are still deciding whether to sit on the panel, have condemned the committee as a witch hunt and partisan politics aimed at hurting President Barack Obama and especially potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who was Secretary of State at the time of the crisis.

Earlier this month, Gowdy said that he had evidence of a "systematic, intentional" effort by the Obama administration to withhold documents from Congress about the Benghazi attacks.

Following Gowdy’s remarks, Morell questioned whether the congressman should be heading an unbiased committee.

"I was hopeful that the House investigative committee would come to its task with an open mind and with a desire to find the truth, but it appears that at least Mr. Gowdy has already made up his mind on certain points," Morell told CNN.

During his speech Monday, Morell dismissed suggestions that he’d helped to draft a document from White House Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes to then-Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice right after the attacks, urging her to claim that the attacks were the result of a spontaneous uprising over an anti-Muslim video instead of terrorism.

The email has led to claims by Republicans that the Obama administration attempted to cover up the crisis.

"There is absolutely no truth to that, and I am 100 percent confident that when this committee is done with its work that will be shown to be true," he said.

Urgent: Do You Think There is a Cover-up on Benghazi? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

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