Rep. Gowdy rips Republican for 'unfortunate' Benghazi remark

Rep. Gowdy rips Republican for 'unfortunate' Benghazi remark
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The head of the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Thursday delivered a sharp rebuke to a fellow Republican lawmaker who claimed the panel's investigation is motivated by politics.  

In a lengthy statement, Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyGowdy remembers political opponent, good friend Elijah Cummings Hill editor-in-chief: 'Hard to imagine' House leadership without Cummings Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 MORE (R-S.C.) slammed remarks from Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), who said the Benghazi Committee was “designed to go after people — and an individual, Hillary Clinton.” 

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“It is unfortunate when claims are made by those who do not know what the committee has done, why it has done it, or the results of its work,” Gowdy said.

“There are seven members of the Benghazi Committee who are intimately familiar with the work of the committee, the motives behind the work, and the results of that work,” he added. “Congressman Hanna is not one of them.”

Hanna has “never asked for a briefing by the committee staff,” Gowdy said, and “raised neither questions with the scope of the approach of the committee” in informal discussions about the committee's investigation.

Gowdy said that he called Hanna on Thursday morning, following widespread reporting about his comments on Wednesday evening.

Hanna's remarks added new fuel to the intense controversy surrounding the Benghazi Committee, days before Clinton’s scheduled public testimony to the panel next week.  

“Sometimes the biggest sin you can commit in D.C. is to tell the truth,” Hanna said on a New York radio show. "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.”

Hanna’s remarks follow similar comments from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — who linked the committee's work to the falling poll numbers of the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination — and from a former Republican staffer for the panel who claims he was fired for questioning the direction of the investigation.

The comments have upset the political dynamic surrounding the Benghazi probe, which had been considered a vulnerability for the former secretary of State in her White House run.

Democrats have gone on the attack, arguing the panel should be disbanded, while Clinton has denounced it as a "partisan" exercise.