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Rep. Robert Hurt: Benghazi inquiry shouldn’t be political

Thursday, May. 15 | By Jonathan Hunley
Rep. Robert Hurt, center, visits the Mason Enterprise Center in Warrenton on Thursday. At left is Fauquier Supervisor Holder Trumbo; at right, Keith Segerson, Mason Center executive director and George Mason University’s assistant vice president for economic development. Staff Photo/Jonathan Hunley
A new congressional inquiry into the Benghazi attacks is "not about politics" and anyone who makes it so should be "condemned," Rep. Robert Hurt said Thursday.

It doesn't seem that every Republican necessarily agrees, however.

Hurt, who represents most of Fauquier County, was in Warrenton to visit the Mason Enterprise Center business incubator.

Interviewed shortly thereafter, the Republican repeated what he's said recently: The select committee created to look into the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, needs to get to the bottom of what happened.

"I think the families of those who were killed, who were murdered, and the American people deserve answers," Hurt said.

Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died when militants attacked a U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.

Previous investigations have identified inadequate security as the problem in Benghazi, but Hurt and others in his party say the Obama administration hasn't been transparent in explaining what went on during and after the attacks.

Seven House Republicans have been appointed to what is planned as a dozen-member select committee. It will be led by Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina.

It's unclear if Democrats will join the panel, but Hurt said everyone should question why the White House "drug its feet" in releasing information about what happened.

The congressman said that the new investigation shouldn't be politicized and that anyone who uses it for such purposes, rather than for truth-finding, "should be condemned."

"This is not about politics," Hurt said.

Gowdy has made similar comments.

But last week the National Republican Congressional Committee announced a fundraising campaign in which donors can be named a "Benghazi Watchdog."

The resolution establishing the Benghazi select committee was introduced by Rep. Pete Sessions, a Texas Republican.

But Rep. Frank Wolf, who represented Fauquier for years, was the author of the initial bill calling for a select committee. The Republican introduced that legislation in 2012.

Wolf, the dean of Virginia's congressional delegation, is not seeking re-election this year. He represents the 10th District, which included Fauquier until political boundaries were redrawn, placing much of the county in Hurt's 5th District.

The remainder of Fauquier is in the Old Dominion's 1st Congressional District, which is represented by GOP Rep. Rob Wittman.

Hurt, Wittman and Wolf all voted in favor of Sessions' select committee resolution.

Look for more on this story in the May 21 Fauquier Times.

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