Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She is a graduate of New York University, where she served as the deputy managing editor of NYU's student newspaper, the Washington Square News. She can be reached at

Articles by Catherine

The past three days have seen reported windows for a Joe Biden 2016 announcement open and close without any official confirmation from the vice president.

But on Wednesday afternoon, after months of speculation, we finally heard it from the horse's mouth—and he's not running. That means many pundits, politicians, and reporters got it wrong.

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Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) has worn his promises that the House Select Committee on Benghazi's investigation is nonpartisan and "fact-centric" like armor ever since he took up the mantle of leadership on the panel.

But chinks in that armor are showing just days before Gowdy is set to grill Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton in a high-profile, public hearing. Ramped-up pressure from Democratic members of the panel in addition to GOPers' assertions that the investigation targeted Clinton have made Gowdy appear to be the lone voice still crying out for the "truth" behind the Benghazi attacks. The House GOP hasn't exactly sent in reinforcements for Gowdy, either, as its members continue to preoccupy themselves with finding a replacement for outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) who can satisfy both the establishment and insurgent wings of the bitterly divided chamber.

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Here's another sign of how radioactive Benghazi is becoming.

Benghazi committee Chair Trey Gowdy (R-SC) is now returning $6,000 in political donations that are indirectly tied to a PAC that ran a nasty anti-Hillary Clinton ad showing the grave of the U.S. ambassador killed in the 2012 attacks, the Washington Post reported Monday.

Gowdy is coughing up the money after the paper inquired about ties between Gowdy and Dan Backer, who used to serve as treasurer for Gowdy's now-defunct leadership PAC. Backer is now the treasurer of the The Stop Hillary PAC, which aired the ad that flashed images of all four Americans killed in the Benghazi attacks in addition to Ambassador Chris Stevens' grave, during the first Democratic presidential primary debate last week.

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With Hilary Clinton scheduled to testify later this week, partisan infighting on the House Select Committee on Benghazi has reached a fever pitch. The ranking Democratic member called out Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) on Sunday for mischaracterizing Clinton's handling of classified information on her private email account, and Gowdy spent the day again defending the committee's work against charges of political gamesmanship. On Monday, Democrats on the committee ratcheted up the pressure on Gowdy again, releasing a report that aimed to debunk "wild Republican conspiracy theories" about Clinton's response to the 2012 attacks.

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