Politics

Congressman Who Led Benghazi Investigation Says He Succeeded By Hurting Hillary’s Poll Numbers

CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

A third GOP congressman has now declared that the Benghazi Committee was successful because it hurt Hillary Clinton’s presidential prospects.

“You know, people often ask Trey Gowdy and myself, what did our investigations do?” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) told Boston Herald Radio on Friday morning. Gowdy currently chairs the House Select Committee on Benghazi, while Issa conducted his own investigation in 2012 when he served as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“Well what they did is that they opened up an opportunity for the American people to sort of smell what’s in the garbage can,” Issa said. “And I think that’s the reason that a devout socialist who wants to nationalize almost everything in America is close to and probably will beat Hillary here in New Hampshire. It’s not because they like Republicans. It’s because they don’t trust Hillary.”

Listen to it (relevant portion begins at 6:05):

In September 2015, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) generated controversy after suggesting that the Benghazi Committee was responsible for driving down the former Secretary of State’s poll numbers. McCarthy’s bid to become House Speaker was soon derailed in part due to these remarks. The following month, another House Republicans, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), also admitted that the Benghazi Committee was “designed to go after” Clinton.

Issa is the most central figure yet to concede that the congressional investigations were politically motivated. The probe has now lasted longer than the Watergate inquiry, but the evidence that it has hurt Clinton’s poll numbers among Democratic primary voters is scant.

During the interview, Issa also declared that he believes FBI Director James Comey “has reached the conclusion that she and Huma and perhaps others knowingly broke the law and endangered men and women in harm’s way.” He didn’t reveal how he would be privy to such information. Still, Issa said he had doubts that President Barack Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch would allow Clinton to be indicted.