Staff of US House Benghazi investigation committee coming together

08/22/2014 12:00 AM

08/21/2014 7:49 PM

The former top lawyer for the U.S. Army will be chief counsel for Republicans on the House committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Retired Lt. Gen. Dana Chipman was judge advocate general for the Army from 2009-2013.

The special committee, led by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-Spartanburg, is preparing for its first public hearing in September.

Chipman “is a person of great character and integrity, with outstanding legal credentials, who dedicated his professional life to the apolitical service to our country and reached the highest levels of his profession,” Gowdy said Thursday through a spokeswoman.

“If you are serious about conducting a fair, thorough, fact-centric investigation devoid of gratuitous partisanship, it stands to reason you would select someone with those same characteristics to lead the investigation,” he said.

The committee, with seven Republicans and five Democrats, was created by the House in May to investigate the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that led to the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Gowdy’s committee is consolidating the work of several prior congressional investigations into security lapses before the attacks, the military response during the attacks, and how President Barack Obama’s administration handled the aftermath.

Chipman will be chief counsel for the committee’s GOP majority.

Democrats, led by Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, are hiring their own staff. The committee’s budget is $3.3 million, and it is expected to continue its investigation well into 2015.

Chipman, who earned degrees from the U.S. Military Academy and Stanford Law School, was deployed during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001 and 2002 as legal adviser to a joint special operations task force, according to his Army biography.

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