Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and other members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi speak to reporters at a press conference on the findings of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's personal emails at the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2015 in Washington, D.C.
Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty

Another Republican admits: Benghazi panel is political

Congressional Republicans are no doubt looking forward to Hillary Clinton’s testimony next week before the GOP’s Benghazi Committee, but at this point, Republicans might just want to cancel – to prevent further GOP embarrassment.
In an interview with WIBX 950 in New York on Wednesday, moderate Republican Rep. Richard Hanna said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was speaking the truth when he said this month that the committee had successfully injured Clinton.
“Sometimes the biggest sin you can commit in D.C. is to tell the truth,” Hanna told the upstate New York radio station. “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.”
ThinkProgress, which I believe was first to report the Republican congressman’s comments, posted an audio clip of Hanna’s on-air interview.
Brian Fallon, a spokesperson for the Clinton campaign, said in a written statement, “House Republicans aren’t even shy anymore about admitting that the Benghazi Committee is a partisan farce.”
That’s not just a throwaway line in a press release; it’s an accurate assessment. Consider the series of recent events:
* House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) publicly conceded that the committee’s work is an election scheme intended to undermine Hillary Clinton.
* A lifelong conservative Republican who worked for the committee has complained that the committee’s sole interest was in tearing down Hillary Clinton.
* Senior Republican officials acknowledged to the New York Times that GOP leaders directed the Benghazi committee to focus on Clinton’s email server management – instead of the deadly Benghazi attack – in order to “cause political problems” for the Democratic candidate.
* Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) has now admitted that his party’s Benghazi panel was “designed” to target Clinton.
The Benghazi Committee isn’t investigating a scandal. The Benghazi Committee is the scandal.
There’s been some debate in recent weeks about whether congressional Democrats should continue to participate in such an obvious farce. It’s a worthwhile question that deserves an answer.
But it’s arguably just the start of a larger conversation. Given the circumstances, it’s not unreasonable to think there should be an independent investigation into the Republican’s Benghazi Committee itself in order to uncover why it was formed, why its redundant work was deemed necessary, how it spent millions of taxpayer dollars, why the probe has been dragged out for so long, and whether the panel violated ethics laws by using official resources for partisan political purposes.
Clinton’s testimony will no doubt receive a bright spotlight next week, but testimony from House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), and other GOP leaders would probably shed more light on the ongoing controversy.