A second Republican congressman admitted in a radio interview that the House Select Committee on Benghazi was convened as a partisan political attack against Hillary Clinton.
On September 29, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy boasted that the Benghazi panel had been intended to and succeeded in hurting Clinton's poll numbers in the presidential race. A former Benghazi committee staffer corroborated the claim, saying the “partisan investigation” had shifted its focus almost exclusively to Clinton. In light of the admission, the New York Times editorial board called on Republicans to “shut down the Benghazi Committee,” which it deemed a “charade” and a “laughable crusade.”
Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) admitted in a radio interview on New York's Keeler in the Morning that Clinton was a target of the Benghazi panel and that McCarthy “had it right to begin with,” as Think Progress reported. Hanna explained, “I think that there was a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people and an individual, Hillary Clinton.” From the October 14 report:
A second House Republican has now conceded that the overarching purpose of the House Select Committee on Benghazi has been to attack former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In September, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) argued that one of House Republicans' successes has been using the Benghazi Committee to drive down Clinton's poll numbers. Though McCarthy tried to walk back his controversial comments, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) argued on Wednesday that the Majority Leader had it right to begin with.
“Sometimes the biggest sin you can commit in D.C. is to tell the truth,” Hanna said in an interview on Keeler in the Morning, a radio show in upstate New York. The third-term congressman paused for a moment, perhaps recognizing the importance of what he was about to say, before going on to agree with McCarthy's original statement.
“This may not be politically correct, but I think that there was a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people and an individual, Hillary Clinton,” Hanna said.
He explained further why he believes the Benghazi Committee's purpose has been in part to attack Clinton. “After what Kevin McCarthy said, it's difficult to accept at least a part of it was not,” Hanna said. “I think that's the way Washington works. But you'd like to expect more from a committee that's spent millions of dollars and tons of time.”
Interview transcript from Keeler in the Morning below:
RICHARD HANNA: And Kevin McCarthy basically blew himself up with that comment over the Benghazi committee. You know, sometimes the biggest sin you can commit in D.C. is to tell the truth. This may not be politically correct, but I think that there was a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people and an individual, Hillary Clinton. And, I think there's also a lot of it that's important that we needed to get to the bottom of this. But this has been the longest investigation, longer than Watergate --
BILL KEELER (HOST): Well you've got a conservative Republican out there right now, who's military, who's really blowing the whistle on the whole thing. And he's basically saying, 'Yeah I was removed because it was political.'
HANNA: You know, I'm not on that committee and I can't speak to that. I certainly watched the hearings and read some of the transcript. You can't-- after what Kevin McCarthy said, it's difficult to accept that at least a part of it was not. And I think that's the way Washington works. But you'd like to expect more from a committee that spent millions of dollars and tons of time.