The House Select Committee on Benghazi ex-staffer who claimed he was fired in part for resisting pressure to focus his investigative efforts on Hillary Clinton filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the committee and its chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC).
Air Force Reserve Major Bradley Podliska previously said he planned to sue the Benghazi committee for wrongful termination. But Monday’s filing, which was first reported by MSNBC, also names Gowdy as a defendant and further alleges that the committee chairman knowingly made false statements about Podliska to the press.
The suit cites an interview Gowdy gave NBC News in October, in which Gowdy said Podliska was a “lousy employee” who mishandled classified information. Prior to that interview, Gowdy had said he’d never met Podliska.
Gowdy also said in the NBC News interview that the reason Podliska alleged he was fired for resisting pressure to focus his investigation on Clinton was because he “was losing in mediation on his reservist claim.” The chairman was referring to Podliska’s allegation that he was fired in part because he took leave from the committee to fulfill his active duty obligations.
Podliska’s attorneys had previously sent a cease-and-desist letter to Gowdy alleging that the chairman violated government confidentiality rules and federal law by disclosing confidential information about Podliska’s employment dispute mediation.
The suit states that Podliska is seeking “a declaration that Chairman Gowdy made false and defamatory statements” about him, in addition to an injunction barring Gowdy from repeating those statements in the future, in lieu of monetary damages.
Read the suit below:
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.