INCOMPETENT: Trey Gowdy Says His 11-Hour Benghazi Hearing Didn’t Reveal Anything New

CORRUPTWASHINGTON — Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) couldn’t say Thursday night if his all-day Benghazi hearing with Hillary Clinton revealed any new information.

Gowdy, chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, was asked by reporters what new details came from his panel’s 11 hours of grilling the former secretary of state over her response to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

“Uh,” Gowdy said, pausing for several seconds.

“I think some of Jimmy Jordan’s questioning — well, when you say new today, we knew some of that already. We knew about the emails,” he said. “In terms of her testimony? I don’t know that she testified that much differently today than she has the previous time she testified.”

The fact that Gowdy couldn’t articulate the point of the hearing will only fuel Democrats’ criticisms that he’s using the panel to hurt Clinton’s 2016 White House bid. A couple of Republicans have said as much, too, though Gowdy insists he’s leading a legitimate investigation.

So far, Gowdy’s probe has cost more than $4.5 million and hasn’t turned up much. He vowed Thursday night to keep digging, though.

“We keep going on until we’re able to interview all the witnesses,” Gowdy told reporters.

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Hillary Clinton and the Benghazi Gang

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Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of state, spent hours on Thursday facing down a gang of spiteful Republican lawmakers who once saw great promise in hauling her before a congressional committee to hold her responsible for the deadly attack that killed the American ambassador and three colleagues in Libya in Sept. 2012.

Unsurprisingly, the hearing yielded no new information about the attacks. It quickly and predictably devolved into a partisan battle between Republicans intent on hurting Mrs. Clinton’s bid for the White House and Democrats who sought to make her look presidential.

The pointless grilling of Mrs. Clinton, who fielded a barrage of questions that have long been answered and settled, served only to embarrass the Republican lawmakers who have spent millions of dollars on a political crusade. In recent days, some prominent Republicans have even admitted as much.

If there was any notion that the Select Committee on Benghazi might be on to something, it was quickly dispelled. In a flailing performance, the committee’s chairman, Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, made it evident that he and his colleagues have squandered more than $4.6 million and countless hours poring over State Department records and Mrs. Clinton’s email. They produced no damning evidence, elicited no confessions and didn’t succeed in getting an angry reaction from Mrs. Clinton.

If the committee members had truly wanted to add to the public’s understanding of the events leading up to the Benghazi attacks, it could have delved into the choices officials at the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency made before and after the attacks. They could also have examined Congress’s refusal to provide the funding the State Department has requested for security for its overseas installations. Instead, the Benghazi committee has focused only on Mrs. Clinton and her close aides.

“It is a prosecution,” Representative Adam Smith, one of the Democrats on the committee, said during the hearing. “It is a partisan exercise.”

Mrs. Clinton, who lost her temper the last time she testified on Capitol Hill about the Benghazi attacks, was thoughtful and patient on Thursday. She acknowledged the findings of an independent investigation into the attacks led by the former American diplomat Thomas Pickering and retired Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That inquiry identified systemic failings by the State Department, which Mrs. Clinton said she took steps to address before leaving office in 2013.

The suggestion that she was personally negligent and that her team took steps to cover up facts are “a very personally painful accusation,” Mrs. Clinton testified. “I’ve lost more sleep than all of you put together,” she said. “I have been racking my brain about what more could have been done or should have been done.”

Now that the hearing, which was intended to be the climactic point of the Benghazi committee inquiry, is over, the Democrats who reluctantly agreed to join the panel when it was established in May 2014 should walk away. The Republicans are expected to issue a report. May it be the final chapter of a wasteful and counterproductive exercise that accomplished nothing.

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TRUMP IS WEAK: TRUMP COMPLAINS FOR HAVING TO DEBATE FOR 3 HOURS

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Hours before Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate on CNN, GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump ripped the network for “milking” the three-hour, 11-candidate event.

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The debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., starts at 8 p.m. and will run for about three hours, representatives from CNN said Wednesday.
Trump has already had plenty to say about CNN’s debate in recent weeks. After taking credit for the network’s expected surplus in ad revenue, the business mogul sent a letter to network President Jeff Zucker, calling on him to donate proceeds from the program to charities supporting U.S. veterans.
The added length may in part be due to the unusually large field of candidates.
A Fox News GOP presidential debate in August lasted two hours and featured 10 players.
Candidates will get a chance to head to the bathroom during an extended commercial break midway through.
With 10 men on stage and only one woman, it will be a rare instance of the men’s room line being longer than the ladies’.

Hillary Clinton: Gives a Victorious Testimony

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Clinton chats with supporters during Benghazi hearing break

WATCH: If the #BenghaziCommittee hearing got to Hillary Clinton today, she didn't show it, using her break to ask supporters, "Are you going to come to my Katy Perry concert?"

Posted by ABC News Politics on Thursday, October 22, 2015

Watch: Explosive Revelations of Benghazi

watchWashington (CNN) A former investigator with the House Select Committee on Benghazi is accusing the Republican-led panel of carrying out a politically motivated investigation targeting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton instead of the thorough and objective fact-finding mission it was set up to pursue.

Maj. Bradley Podliska, an intelligence officer in the Air Force Reserve who describes himself as a conservative Republican, told CNN that the committee trained its sights almost exclusively on Clinton after the revelation last March that she used a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. That new focus flipped a broad-based probe of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, into what Podliska described as “a partisan investigation.”

Podliska, who was fired after nearly 10 months as an investigator for the Republican majority, is now preparing to file a lawsuit against the select committee next month, alleging that he lost his job in part because he resisted pressure to focus his investigative efforts solely on the State Department and Clinton’s role surrounding the Benghazi attack. He also alleges he was fired because he took leave from the committee to fulfill his military service obligations, which would be an unlawful firing.

“I knew that we needed to get to the truth to the victims’ families. And the victims’ families, they deserve the truth — whether or not Hillary Clinton was involved, whether or not other individuals were involved,” he told CNN in an exclusive TV interview that aired Sunday on “State of the Union.” “The victims’ families are not going to get the truth and that’s the most unfortunate thing about this.”

Podliska told CNN that the committee, which has spent $4.6 million so far and is chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, pulled resources away from probes of other individuals and agencies to focus almost exclusively on Clinton and the State Department she helmed for four years. Clinton will testify before the committee for the first time Oct. 22, and the committee is set to release the findings of its investigation next year, in the heat of the presidential race.

Podliska alleges that the committee’s staff director told him he was fired for three reasons: using work email to send a social invitation to colleagues, assigning an “unauthorized project” to an intern, and allegedly putting classified information on an unclassified system. Podliska, an intelligence officer who was hired for his expertise with the intelligence community, strongly denies the latter. He also disputes the legitimacy of the other two reasons cited to him by the committee, in particular assigning any “unauthorized projects” to interns.

witch-huntCommittee denies all allegations

Gowdy flatly denied the claims in a statement Sunday, in which he repeatedly said Podliska never mentioned his concerns regarding the investigation. Gowdy again defended the mission of the committee as “the final, definitive accounting” of the Benghazi terrorist attacks and denied that its members were focusing on the former secretary of state.

“Because I do not know him, and cannot recall ever speaking to him, I can say for certain he was never instructed by me to focus on Clinton, nor would he be a credible person to speak on my behalf,” Gowdy said in the statement. “I am equally confident his supervisor, General (Retired Lt. Gen. Dana) Chipman, did not direct him to focus on Clinton.”

Gowdy also criticized CNN’s reporting of Podliska’s claims.

“Had CNN contacted the Committee regarding its interview with this staffer before it rushed to air his sensationalistic and fabulist claims, it could have fully questioned him about his unsubstantiated claims. But that is the difference between journalism as practiced by CNN, and the fact-centric investigation being conducted by this Committee,” Gowdy said in the statement.

CNN refuted those allegations in a statement Sunday.

“We categorically deny Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy’s statement about CNN,” a network spokesperson said. “We reached out to the committee for a response prior to publishing or broadcasting, which the committee provided. That response was included in our reporting. In addition, Chairman Gowdy was invited to discuss this on CNN and declined. Chairman Gowdy is wrong.”

A committee spokesperson “vigorously” denied Podliska’s allegations about why he was fired and defended the objectivity of the panel’s investigation.

“We are confident that the facts and evidence give no support to the wild imagination fueling these and any future allegations, and the Committee will vigorously defend itself against such allegations. The Committee will not be blackmailed into a monetary settlement for a false allegation made by a properly terminated former employee,” the committee spokesperson, who declined to be named, told CNN in a statement.

The committee statement also accused Podliska of his own bias in his work on the committee, a claim the former staffer’s lawyer firmly denied.

labprolib-letter
lab-prolibThe statement added that Podliska had never previously accused the committee of conducting a biased investigation targeting Clinton, although Podliska said he repeatedly made the case to his superiors that the committee’s work should be more all-encompassing.

Podliska said he decided to come forward because the committee’s skewed focus is detracting from the objective of uncovering the truth surrounding the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. “What happened was wrong,” Podliska said.

“I’m scared. I’m nervous. I know that this is, you know, I’m going up against powerful people in Washington. But at the end of the day I need to live with myself,” he said. “I told my wife, I will view myself as a coward if I don’t do the right thing here.”

He insisted that his claim is not politically motivated, explaining that he has long been a conservative Republican — “more on the libertarian side” — and plans to vote for the GOP nominee in 2016.

“I am going to vote for the Republican nominee in 2016. I do not support Hillary Clinton for president,” he said.

The accusation comes on the heels of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s controversial comments linking the Benghazi committee’s efforts to a downward slide in Clinton’s poll numbers — an admission that McCarthy later walked back but still helped sink his bid to become House speaker.

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” McCarthy said less than two weeks ago. “But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought.”

Democrats have seized on that gaffe as vindication that the committee was always a partisan witch-hunt aimed at sinking Clinton’s presidential prospects.

Hilarious Hillary Clinton on SNL: “Donald Trump? Isn’t he the one that’s like, ‘Uh, you’re all losers’?”

Saturday night during the 41st season premiere of Saturday Night Live, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made an appearance and starred alongside her now two-season impersonator Kate McKinnon. She was down to be in on the jokes about herself, but she also made sure to get in a joke about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. And nailed it.

Hillary Clinton played an all-too-cool bartender named Val who chatted with a distressed presidential candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton, played by McKinnon.

After taking a few jabs at Clinton’s late embrace of gay marriage and her stance against the Keystone pipeline, McKinnon (as Clinton) set up the moment: “I’m just so darn bummed. All anyone wants to talk about is Donald Trump.”

Val, aka the real Hillary Clinton, impersonated the Republican presidential candidate and said, “Donald Trump? Isn’t he the one that’s like, ‘Uh, you’re all losers’?”

When Val then asked,“You think he’ll win the primaries?” pretend Clinton/McKinnon responded: “He must. I want to be the one take him down. I will destroy him and I will mount his hair in the oval office.”

This marks the second time the Democratic candidate imitated Trump. She took a jab at the Republican nominee with an imitation on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on September 16.

Toward the end of the SNL skit, pretend Clinton/McKinnon said, “I wish you could be president.” Val replied with a “me too.”

BOMBSHELL: GOP ADMITS TO CREATING BENGHAZI SCANDAL

WATCH the bombshell GOP member Kevin McCarthy’s drops during an interview with Sean Hannity, Fox News, skip to 3:25 minutes, source.

Kevin McCarthy’s silver-plated gift to Hillary Clinton: What his Benghazi blunder reveals about the GOP’s warped priorities

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is, at this moment, the Democrats’ best pal. He went on Fox News last night to talk up his campaign to replace outgoing House Speaker John Boehner, and he ended up saying out loud and on television the one thing Republicans aren’t supposed to say about the House Select Committee on Benghazi: it’s all about taking down Hillary Clinton:

This is an archetypal example of the Kinsley Gaffe: a politician accidentally uttering a truthful statement. Anyone who’s paid even cursory attention to the GOP’s treatment of the Benghazi attacks will likely have already concluded that the party’s interest in the matter is linked to Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions. But it’s still bracing to see one of the most powerful Republicans in Washington come right out and brag about how he and his colleagues set up a taxpayer-funded investigation to damage the political prospects of the opposition party’s leading presidential candidate. It’s downright scandalous, and precisely the sort of political corruption that Republicans argue is at the heart of the Obama administration’s response to Benghazi.

No less remarkable is the fact that McCarthy offered up the politicized Benghazi investigation as an “example” of how he would conduct business as Speaker of the House. He just put it right out there and told Sean Hannity that the McCarthy Congress will be a series of investigations aimed at hurting the Democrats’ chances of electoral success.

He’s also impugned what little credibility Benghazi committee chair Trey Gowdy enjoys, and he’s given critics of the committee all the reason they need to trash the committee as a disreputable and untrustworthy exercise in partisan scapegoating. One Democratic member of the Benghazi committee had already called for the investigation to be shut down, and other Democrats are doing the same in the aftermath of McCarthy’s remarks.

bombThe Benghazi committee has always been wrapped in obvious fictions that provide its members and supporters with the barest minimum of plausible deniability as to its true purpose. We were told that the committee was necessary because dang it, we still just don’t know what happened in Benghazi (just ignore the half-dozen or so official investigations that preceded it). Committee chair Trey Gowdy frequently asserts that he is
concerned only with information that is relevant to the committee’s mandate (as he’s expanded the investigation to areas that, by his own admission, are outside the committee’s purview and have little or nothing to do with the Benghazi attacks). Gowdy also insists that he’s running a professional investigation that has no interest in partisan politics and is committed to learning the truth about the events that led to the deaths of four Americans (as it leaks at every given opportunity, feeding often misleading information about Clinton’s emails to reporters).

McCarthy’s candor has robbed the committee of its already specious claims to credibility. And he’s handed Clinton a powerful weapon to use against her critics. The Clintons’ political history is defined in part by the self-destructive behavior of Republicans during the 1990s, who turned the congressional oversight process into a nakedly political enterprise to destroy Bill and Hillary. With the likely next Speaker of the House boasting about the Benghazi committee’s political agenda and holding it up as an example of how he’d run things in his chamber, Hillary can say it’s déjà vu all over again, and you’d be hard-pressed to disagree with her.

 


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