MSNBC's Mike Barnicle: Had The Benghazi Committee “Been In Charge Of The Watergate Hearing, Richard Nixon Would Have Finished His Term”

From the October 23 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:

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JOE SCARBOROUGH (HOST): Welcome to Morning Joe. Of course, Hillary Clinton and congressional Republicans and Democrats sparred all day yesterday. And Benghazi hearings that could only be seen, at least in terms of theatrics, as a TKO for Hillary Clinton. It wasn't even a close call. Also a new Bloomberg poll out this morning that really solidifies what we learned yesterday. But I want to talk about the hearings first. Mike Barnacle, any time you have a major national figure that goes before Congress, it seems whether through the years it's Republicans or Democrats, it's always the person behind the microphone that knows what they're doing that seems to make their questioners look like fools. And whether it was in the mid-80s with Rehnquist and Scalia when they were trying to be nominated before the Court or even Oliver North, I guess I should say especially Oliver North. This isn't just a Republican phenomenon or Democratic phenomenon. It's just a Congressional phenomenon. These sort of panels always seem to fall flat on their face, and yesterday, no exception, a very bad day for Trey Gowdy and the Republicans, theatrically, at least. Maybe some new evidence came out, but sure didn't look like it yesterday.
MIKE BARNICLE: Joe, I happen to watch or listen to almost all of the hearings.
BARNICLE: But 11 hours -- 11 hours the former secretary of state sat there. It was an amazing performance. The questioning was largely hostile, angry, disrespectful toward her, toward her office, toward the casualties of Benghazi that day. It was a total collapse of the committee system and the Congress of the United States. I mean, I hearken back to committee hearings -- you just eluded to them -- that I remember, and I ended up thinking about halfway through the 11 hours that had this committee been employed to investigate the Watergate break-in instead of Sam Ervin -- a Democrat -- and Howard Banker -- a Republican -- instead of Sam Dash -- the Democratic counsel -- and Fred Thompson -- the Republican counsel -- who completedthat hearing skillfully, legitimately. If this committee had been in charge of the Watergate hearing, Richard Nixon would have finished his term.


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