A formal announcement naming the chair of a select committee to investigate the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi could happen as early as Monday, Fox News has learned.
A senior House source with direct knowledge of the development of the committee indicated that Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., is likely to be named chairman of the panel. Gowdy's name was floated heavily late last week. Other names mentioned for the job by Capitol Hill insiders include Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas; Rep. Mike Turner R-Ohio; Rep. John Mica R-Fla.; Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.; and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.
But sources familiar with the thinking of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, indicated that nearly all focus has been on Gowdy and that those other members may not really have a shot at being the committee chair. Gowdy is a second-term lawmaker, a former district attorney and U.S. Attorney, and a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
"It's not done," said a senior congressional source of Gowdy's candidacy. "But it's looking that way."
The selection of Gowdy is being read by many as a blow to the sometimes-volatile House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and his probe into the 2012 attacks, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. In fact, some sources on Capitol Hill argue that one of the reasons a select committee has been commissioned is to specifically sideline Issa. Issa's staff and the staff of the House Armed Services Committee got into a public dispute last week about the credibility of a Benghazi witness at an oversight committee hearing last week.
There are not expected to be further announcements regarding others who may serve on the committee or even whether Democrats might participate. There appears to have been no direct contact between the Speaker's Office and the Minority Leader's Office about the creation of the committee despite Friday's announcement of its pending inception.
House leadership sources also aren't sure when they'll release text of the actual resolution creating the select committee. Such language in the resolution would explain the scope and parameters of the probe, the select committee's jurisdiction and its cost.
The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. indicated that a vote on a measure to prepare for the Benghazi committee could come as early as this week.
Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.
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