Allegations have been made by a former Benghazi committee staffer that the committee was a planned effort to harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. On Sunday, Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, fired back.
Gowdy stated that he had never met with the staffer and investigator, Air Force Reserves officer Bradley F. Podliska, and that Podliska had been reprimanded for his own efforts to inappropriately focus the investigation on Clinton.
Podliska, a self-described conservative Republican, alleges that he lost his job in part because he refused to focus his investigative efforts on Clinton and the State Department. He also claims that he was fired in part because he took leave to fulfill his military service obligations. If fired for this reason, it would be an unlawful firing.
The select committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), stated: “These are extremely serious whistle-blower charges. Republicans have been abusing millions of taxpayer dollars for the illegitimate purpose of damaging Hillary Clinton’s bid for president.”
Podliska’s accusations follow statements made by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy less than two weeks ago:
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought.”
Gowdy said about Podliska: “Because I do not know him, and cannot recall ever speaking to him, I can say for certain he was never instructed by me to focus on Clinton, nor would he be a credible person to speak on my behalf.”
Furthermore, Gowdy said that Podliska had never mentioned Clinton during his firing process or throughout the legal mediation process.
Gowdy also said that the committee had interviewed 44 new witnesses and recovered more than 50,000 pages of documents while “only half of one interview” has focused on Clinton’s email arrangements.
Clinton is set to appear before the select committee on October 22nd, her first appearance before the committee.
On Sunday, Gowdy said in a statement: “This committee always has been and will be focused on the four brave Americans we lost in Benghazi and providing the final, definitive accounting of the Benghazi terrorist attacks for the American people.”
What do you think? Has the select committee headed by Gowdy inappropriately focused on Clinton? Or does it remain focused on capturing the truth about Benghazi? Comment below.