New York Times Confirms Whistleblower Account: The Committee Fox News Built Swapped Benghazi For Clinton

New York Times Confirms Whistleblower Account: The Committee Fox News Built Swapped Benghazi For Clinton

NYT: "The Committee Put Aside All Of Its Proposed Public Hearings Focused On The Attack And Never Followed Up On Most Of Its Announced [Defense And Intelligence] Witness Interviews"

Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

In the wake of allegations that the House Select Committee On Benghazi illegally retaliated against a whistleblower who protested the committee's abandonment of its original mission to turn an investigation of the circumstances around the 2012 Benghazi attacks into a partisan focus on Hillary Clinton's personal email account, a new report from The New York Times has confirmed his account.

The New York Times reported on October 10 that Bradley Podliska, a former investigator for the Republicans on the Benghazi committee who was allegedly fired unlawfully, accused the committee of focusing "primarily on the role of the State Department and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton" instead of conducting a comprehensive investigation into the September 2012 Benghazi attack that killed four Americans. The committee, which was pushed for and promoted extensively by Fox News, was recently revealed by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to be a part of a political strategy to harm Clinton.

The new whistleblower allegations and subsequent Times report further support McCarthy's admission. According to the Times, the extent of the committee's "shift[]" in focus has been dramatic as "the committee has conducted only one of a dozen interviews that Mr. Gowdy said in February he had planned to hold with prominent intelligence, Defense Department and White House officials, and it has held none of the nine public hearings -- with titles such as 'Why Were We in Libya?' -- that internal documents show have been proposed."

From the October 11 report:

When the House select committee investigating the 2012 attacks on American government outposts in Benghazi, Libya, was created, Democrats immediately criticized it as a partisan effort to damage the political fortunes of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But Representative Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican and former federal prosecutor who is the committee's chairman, told Fox News at the time: "I have no friends to reward and no foes to punish. We're going to go wherever the facts take us."

Now, 17 months later -- longer than the Watergate investigation lasted -- interviews with current and former committee staff members as well as internal committee documents reviewed by The New York Times show the extent to which the focus of the committee's work has shifted from the circumstances surrounding the Benghazi attack to the politically charged issue of Mrs. Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

A committee with a stated initial goal of learning more about how four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed in Libya has created a political whirlwind in Washington, affecting not only Mrs. Clinton's presidential campaign, but now also the race for House speaker. Mrs. Clinton is scheduled to testify in front of the committee on Oct. 22.

The committee has conducted only one of a dozen interviews that Mr. Gowdy said in February he planned to hold with prominent intelligence, Defense Department and White House officials, and it has held none of the nine public hearings -- with titles such as "Why Were We in Libya?" -- that internal documents show have been proposed.

At the same time, the committee has added at least 18 current and former State Department officials to its roster of witnesses, including three speechwriters and an information technology specialist who maintained Mrs. Clinton's private email server.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.