Gowdy’s shameful political circus

How many Republican members of Congress will have to tell the truth about the partisan schemes of Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyTop Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview Gowdy calls congressional hearings like Cohen's 'utterly useless' The family secret Bruce Ohr told Rod Rosenstein about Russia case MORE’s Benghazi committee before this shameful abuse of taxpayer funds is ended once and for all?

Last week, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) confirmed Kevin McCarthy’s proud boast that the Benghazi committee was created to wreak political harm on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all O'Rourke faces sharp backlash from left Dem strategist says South Carolina will be first 'real test' for O'Rourke MORE. “Sometimes the biggest sin you can commit in D.C. is to tell the truth,” Hanna said. “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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

No it’s certainly not politically correct. But it’s also not ethically correct, and it may not be legally correct, either. The American Democracy Legal Fund has filed complaints with the Office of Congressional Ethics alleging that congressional Republicans have misused official resources for political purposes. The evidence for that charge keeps piling up.

We cannot forget that the lives and deaths of four brave Americans are being kicked around like a political football. That is what’s at the heart of congressional Republicans’ abuse of the Benghazi tragedy.

Last week, a shadowy, right-wing organization released a television ad featuring unauthorized photos of Ambassador Chris Stevens’ gravesite in an absurd, fact-free attempt to smear Hillary Clinton for the events of that horrible day. Though Stop Hillary PAC—the organization behind the shameful ad—prefers to operate in the shadows, it makes no secret of being big fans of the work of the hyper-partisan Benghazi committee. It has regularly solicited campaign funds from its email list to “support Trey Gowdy,” at one point delivering petition signatures to Gowdy’s office to “express our gratitude and support for the important work you are taking on.”

If I thought the Benghazi committee had even a shred of credibility, I’d call on Gowdy to immediately use his position to halt this disturbing ad. It does not. He will not. That ship sailed a long time ago.

It’s no surprise that an organization called “Stop Hillary PAC” would be proud of Gowdy’s brazen use of $4.7 million taxpayer dollars to relentlessly attack Clinton and leak false stories to the media. Remember when the New York Times breathlessly reported that Hillary Clinton was the subject of a “criminal investigation”—before that claim turned out to be entirely false? The Times later chalked up their bad reporting to sources on Capitol Hill, a not-very-veiled reference to Gowdy’s partisan operation.

Hillary Clinton will testify before Gowdy’s shameful political circus this week—proving, once again, that she has an almost superhuman patience and commitment to transparency, even in the face of utterly shameless opponents. But I’m under no obligation to share her diplomatic approach to this scheming pack of jackals. This ongoing sham of a committee is an insult to American democracy, and that’s why more and more Republicans are letting the truth slip out.

Brock is a journalist and author who founded Media Matters for America.