Emboldened by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s recent comments, Democrats on the House committee investigating Benghazi have released testimony marked secret by the committee’s Chairman, Trey Gowdy.
Gowdy is sure to be infuriated by the unilateral move, which many argue breaks House rules and undoubtedly makes the already contentious House Select Committee On Benghazi even more divisive.
According to The Hill:
“Defying the orders of Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the Democrats on Monday released portions of a secret transcript containing the testimony of Cheryl Mills, a Clinton aide and confidante.
Upping the ante further, the committee’s five Democrats threatened to release the full transcript of Mills’s closed-door testimony, which lasted for nine hours, unless Gowdy gives them a reason not to.
“We believe it is time to begin releasing the transcripts of interviews conducted by the Select Committee in order to correct the public record after numerous inaccurate Republican leaks, and we plan to begin this process by releasing the full transcript of Ms. Mills’ interview,” the panel’s five Democratic lawmakers wrote in a letter to Gowdy.
The Democrats gave Gowdy, the State Department and lawyers for Mills five days to say whether any portions of the full transcript should remain private for national security reasons.
Republicans said the release of the partial transcript violated House rules, and accused Democrats of acting upon “naked political motivation” to help Clinton “without regard for the integrity of the investigation.”
“Most Democrats on the Benghazi Committee have endorsed Clinton, and they are now running a protection effort for the former secretary,” said Jamal Ware, a spokesman for Gowdy.
“It is one thing to merely sit idly by while others do serious work, it is quite another to attempt to undercut that work with selective leaks in violation of House Rules.”
The transcript leak represents a major escalation in the partisan warfare that has gripped the Benghazi committee since its creation last year.
Democrats have been dialing up their attacks ever since Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — the front-runner to be the next Speaker — last week credited the Benghazi committee with sinking Clinton’s poll numbers in her bid for the White House next year.
The remark drew repudiation from Republicans and gave Democrats an opening to assail an investigation they have portrayed as a politically motivated “witch hunt” against their presidential front-runner.”
The article notes that Hillary Clinton is now on the offense instead of the hot seat as the big October 22nd hearing nears.
“Clinton, who is scheduled to deliver her long-awaited testimony to the Benghazi committee on Oct. 22, has dialed up her rhetoric as well. On Monday she accused Republicans of “exploit[ing]” the 2012 attack, which left four Americans dead, “for political reasons.”
“This committee was set up, as they have admitted, for the purpose of making a partisan political issue out of the deaths of four Americans,” Clinton said in an interview on NBC’s “Today.” “If I were president, and there were Republicans or Democrats thinking about that, I would have done everything to shut it down.”
Democrats last week toyed with the idea of boycotting the Benghazi committee to protest its actions. But Monday’s move shows they might be able to do more damage from within.”
Conservative Intel recently wondered if Clinton will use the controversy to avoid her October 22nd testimony.
“Even if Dems don’t abandon it, Hillary could. The Benghazi issue has been a pain in Clinton’s side, and if she can use McCarthy’s comments to back out of testifying, don’t think she won’t. Hillary could well calculate that the backlash for not testifying pales in comparison to drama she may encounter at the hearing. And that drama could translate into quotes and videos that haunt Hillary all the way to November 2016 if she can win the primary.
And if Clinton does rescind her acceptance, what does it mean for McCarthy? One would think it doesn’t bode well to lose a great opportunity to push someone who is possibly the next President on an issue of vital importance-not the way McCarthy would like to start his reign as House Speaker.”