A top Democrat serving on the House committee on Benghazi accused the panel’s leaders of abusing its purpose and called for the committee’s dissolution in a Friday op-ed.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) wrote in The New York Times that the committee has abandoned any pretense of investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Libya and become “little more than a partisan tool to influence the presidential race” instead.
“Whatever their original purpose, the Select Committee’s leaders appear no longer to have any interest in Benghazi,” he wrote, “except as the tragic events of that day may be used as a cudgel against the likely Democratic nominee for president,” Hillary Clinton.
Schiff argued that sets a “dangerous precedent” by which Congressional committees could attack other likely presidential nominees in the future.
The California Democrat also drew attention to the the amount of money — $4 million in taxpayer dollars — and the amount of time — 16 months — the committee has spent ostensibly investigating the Benghazi attacks without gleaning any “additional insight” into what happened there on Sept. 11, 2012.
“A committee that cannot tell the American people what it is looking for after 16 months should be shut down,” Schiff concluded. “Otherwise, Benghazi will come to be remembered not for the tragedy that claimed four American lives, but for the terrible abuse of process that now bears its name.”
Schiff’s op-ed was published as the Benghazi committee interviewed two top Clinton aides, Cheryl Mills and Jake Sullivan, behind closed doors. It also came on the heels of the news that a former State Department staffer who helped Clinton set up a private email server in her Chappaqua, New York home invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify before the committee.