Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonDemocratic, Republican senators say recent cyberattacks 'have cut to the heart of our free society' Five takeaways from latest campaign filings Trump sparks imitator in Ohio Senate race MORE’s campaign is seizing on remarks by a House Republican who said Wednesday that the Benghazi Select Committee is out to damage the former secretary of State politically.
In an interview first uncovered by ThinkProgress, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) said he agrees with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who handed Clinton a political gift last month when he tied her falling poll numbers to the committee investigating the 2012 terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
“After what Kevin McCarthy said, it’s difficult to accept at least a part of it was not,” Hanna continued. “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.”
The Clinton campaign seized on the remarks, saying that the former secretary of State would still testify in front of the committee as scheduled next week, even though “the inquiry has zero credibility left.”
“House Republicans aren't even shy anymore about admitting that the Benghazi Committee is a partisan farce,” Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement.
“After failing to produce any new information on the tragic 2012 attacks at Benghazi despite a 17-month investigation, [Speaker] John Boehner [R-Ohio] has reportedly urged the committee to shift its focus to Hillary Clinton's emails in an ongoing effort to try to hurt her politically. Hillary Clinton will still attend next week's hearing, but at this point, Trey Gowdy's inquiry has zero credibility left."
McCarthy has walked his comments back, and Republican leadership is adamant that the sole purpose of the committee, led by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), is to investigate security surrounding the U.S. consulate in Libya leading up to the attack that left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
But the remarks by McCarthy have opened a window for Clinton to go on the offensive over the controversy surrounding her use of a personal email account, first uncovered by the committee.
At Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, Clinton blasted the committee as “an arm of the Republican National Committee.”
“It is a partisan vehicle as admitted by the House Republican majority leader, Mr. McCarthy, to drive down my poll numbers, big surprise, and that’s what they have attempted to do," Clinton said. "I am still standing and happy to be part of this debate.”