Congressman Trey Gowdy’s office slammed a lawsuit filed by a fired staffer alleging that the congressman violated the law with his Benghazi committee ,calling it “meritless” and “improper” on Monday.
The November 23 lawsuit filed by a former staffer named Bradley Podliska, an Air Force reserve major who Gowdy, R -S.C., fired in June for mishandling classified information, alleges a long list of violations supposedly perpetrated against him, including that he was improperly fired. But Podliska’s most explosive claim is that the House Select Committee on Benghazi is a “witch hunt” launched to “get” Hillary Clinton for her response to the attack on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.
Gowdy’s office calls the whole thing nothing short of an attack against the Committee’s legitimate functions.
“The committee understands that a lawsuit has been filed by Bradley Podliska asserting claims pursuant to the Congressional Accountability Act, among others,” Gowdy spokesman Jamal Ware said in a statement according to The Blaze. “We disagree strongly with those claims, which are meritless and which improperly strike at the heart of the committee’s legislative functions.”
As to the former staffer’s claims about Clinton, Ware insists that Podliska himself asked committee interns to take up partisan projects, even though he was warned against doing so.
Along with a raft of allegations, the suit claims that Gowdy made statements that damaged Podliska’s reputation.
“Chairman Gowdy, personally and through his agents, tied these defamatory statements to Podliska’s firing to damage Podliska’s reputation and his ability to seek or secure employment in his chosen field, depriving Podliska of his rights under the Constitution,” the suit reads.
Podliska also claims he was the only one punished for improperly handling evidence, and that his firing was improper. “Ultimately, Plaintiff was the only one of the four accused of the trumped-up security violation to be reprimanded by the Majority Staff or subjected to any adverse employment action,” the suit says.
Podliska further alleges that he was fired for taking time off to fulfill his military duties, a claim that Gowdy’s office strongly disputes.
“The committee did not and does not discriminate or retaliate based on military service, military status or any other unlawful factor,” Ware added.
The congressman’s spokesman also pointed out that the committee employs several active members of the military, and that none of them have ever been penalized for fulfilling their duties to the service.
Gowdy’s office assured the American people that all of the claims in Podliska’s suit are false, and that Gowdy’s office will be “fully exonerated.”
Podliska’s lawsuit demands his reinstatement as a committee investigator, recovery of lost wages and other damages. He also seeks “a permanent injunction barring Chairman Gowdy from repeating false, defamatory and injurious statements” that have been made about him.