Noting House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) comment last week about the Benghazi committee’s political success, Democrats on the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Monday circumvented Republicans on the panel to release details from one of the committee’s private interviews with a former aide to Hillary Clinton.
“On September 29, 2015, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy admitted during a nationally televised interview on Fox News that House Republicans created the Benghazi Select Committee from the very beginning to wage a taxpayer-funded political campaign against Hillary Clinton’s bid for president. Obviously, this is an unethical abuse of millions of taxpayer dollars and a crass assault on the memories of the four Americans who were killed in Benghazi,” the Democrats began in a letter to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the chairman of the select committee, referencing the majority leader’s statements last week.
In the letter, Reps. Elijah Cumming (D-MD), Adam Smith (D-WA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), said that the way Republicans on the committee went about their work shows how political their investigation has been.
“Although some Republicans attempted to explain away Rep. McCarthy’s admission, it reflected exactly what has been going on within the Select Committee for the past year-and-a-half,” the letter continues. “It has held no hearings of any kind since January, and it has completely abandoned its plans to hear public testimony from top defense and intelligence officials so Republicans can focus almost exclusively on Hillary Clinton.”
The Democratic members of the panel then accused the Republican members of using “a series of selective leaks of inaccurate and incomplete information in an effort to attack Secretary Clinton with unsubstantiated or previously debunked allegations.”
In particular, the letter claims that the committee unfairly portrayed its private interview with former Clinton staffer Cheryl Mills by demanding that the interview be treated as classified information and then leaking parts of the interview to the press. The Democratic members included previously unreported excerpts of the interview with Mills in the letter, and they told Gowdy that the State Department and Mills’ lawyers have five days to identify parts of the interview that should remain private before making the entire transcript public.
Read the full letter below, courtesy of The Hill.
Correction: Rep. Cummings is a congressman representing Maryland, not South Carolina.
Correction: Rep. Cummings is from Maryland, not South Carolina.