WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said interviewing dozens of witnesses to the 2012 Benghazi attack is more important than scrutinizing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails.
In an appearance on CBS News' Face the Nation, Gowdy said the Benghazi investigation has conducted 50 interviews and expects at least 70 interviews be carried out, despite some Democrats' calls for an end to the probe.
He said that out of 50,000 new documents received by the House Select Committee on Benghazi, less than 5 percent "have anything to do with Secretary Clinton."
Though Clinton's role in the investigation is important, the chairman of the committee said she is not as important as people who witnessed the Benghazi attack.
"My position has always been the same. Four dead Americans is more than enough work for me," Gowdy said. "She's a witness. She was the secretary of state. You have to talk to her. But we have already talked to 50 people not named Clinton. We're going to talk to another couple of dozen not named Clinton."
On the topic of Republican lawmakers stating the Benghazi investigation was politically motivated, specifically to damage Clinton's reputation and presidential campaign, Gowdy said his colleagues were ignorant -- adding that "they don't have any idea what the facts are."
"There are three people who don't have any idea what they're talking about. Two of my colleagues, the two Republican members of the conference, have never asked for an update on our committee," Gowdy said during the interview. "They couldn't name three witnesses we talked to. They couldn't tell you a single document production that we have received."
Gowdy also suggested Republicans not directly involved in the committee's investigation should reconsider speaking on the matter.
"I have told my own Republican colleagues and friends, shut up talking about things that you don't know anything about," Gowdy said. "Unless you're on the committee, you have no idea what we have done, why we have done it and what new facts we have found."
Clinton continues to face increased scrutiny over keeping her work-related emails on a private server when she served as secretary of state as she moves forward with her presidential campaign for the 2016 election.
Also Sunday, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., the Ranking Member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, sent a letter to Gowdy to "correct" the chairman's accusation that Clinton sent an email that contained classified information that endangered people's lives.
"The problem with your accusation -- as with so many others during this investigation -- is that you failed to check your facts before you made it, and the CIA has now informed the select committee that you were wrong," Cummings wrote in the letter. "I believe your accusations were irresponsible, and I believe you owe the secretary an immediate apology.
"Contrary to your claims, the CIA yesterday informed both the Republican and Democratic staffs of the select committee that they do not consider the information you highlighted in your letter to be classified," Cummings wrote.