Fired Benghazi committee investigator alleges bias against Hillary Clinton

Updated

A former investigator for the House Select Committee on Benghazi claims he was unfairly fired for trying to conduct a non-partisan and “thorough” probe instead of focusing primarily on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Maj. Bradley Podliska plans to file a federal complaint against the Committee in November, according to a statement released through his lawyer on Saturday.

It said he was fired in June after 10 months working for the committee because his attempt to conduct “a professional and thorough investigation of all the federal agencies involved” in the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

“My non-partisan investigative work conflicted with the interests of the Republican leadership, who focused their investigation primarily on Secretary Clinton and her aides,” the statement from Podliska said.

The Republican-led committee slammed Podliska’s allegations as “transparently false,” “outlandish” and “clear opportunism” by a lawfully terminated former employee.

It said Podliska had been “terminated for cause” — partly because of his “repeated efforts… to develop and direct Committee resources to a PowerPoint “hit piece” on members of the Obama Administration - including Secretary Clinton.”

Related: Benghazi panel plagued by partisan disputes

“The employee actually was terminated, in part, because he himself manifested improper partiality and animus in his investigative work,” the committee said in a statement.

It added that Podliska had never raised the allegations about Clinton during “repeated counseling for performance and lack of judgment” — nor when he was terminated “for those reasons.”

“The former employee has continued to imagine a variety of new, outlandish, never previously mentioned, allegations since his departure,” the statement said. “The Committee will not be blackmailed into a monetary settlement for a false allegation made by a properly terminated former employee.”

Podliska’s attorney — who described his client as a “proud, Conservative Republican” — could not immediately be reached for comment to respond to the committee’s statement on the Powerpoint “hit piece” and “for cause” termination.

Podliska alleged in his statement that the Republican-led committee began focusing almost exclusively on Clinton and the State Department in March of 2015 after revelations surfaced that she had used a private server and email account while serving as secretary of state.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made comments last month that appeared to link the Benghazi investigation to Clinton’s dropping poll numbers. McCarthy later said he misspoke, and never intended to imply the committee was politically motivated.

However, Clinton last week slammed the committee for making a “partisan political issue out of the deaths of four Americans.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful’s campaign called Podliska a “whistleblower” on Sunday and said his claims might be the “most definitive proof to date” that the Benghazi investigation “has been a partisan sham from the start.”

“These are explosive allegations,” the Clinton campaign said in a statement.

Clinton is set to testify before the committee on Oct. 22. The findings of the investigation are due to be released next year.

Four Americans — U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith and security officers Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty Sean Smith— died in the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com

Benghazi and Hillary Clinton

Fired Benghazi committee investigator alleges bias against Hillary Clinton

Updated