GOP Rep Accuses FBI Of Blackmailing Petraeus To Testify That Anti-Islam Video Sparked Libya Attack

Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) thinks that the FBI may have been gathering information on former CIA Director David Petraeus to blackmail him so that he would testify favorably to the Obama administration’s position on the attack on Benghazi in September. “Hypothetically, of course,” as Gohmert put it.

Appearing on WMAL radio this morning, the outspoken Texas Congressman, known for his Tea Party-leanings, made clear that he wasn’t actually accusing the Obama White House of directing the FBI to investigate Petraeus for political reasons relating to his upcoming Benghazi testimony. Nor was he actually saying that the FBI was engaging in activities reminiscent of original FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to “blackmail” other government officials.

Instead, as Gohmert repeatedly made clear, he was only hypothetically spinning a story oddly similar to other conspiracy theories surrounding Petraeus’ resignation:

GOHMERT: Say, hypothetically, they had information on the CIA Director and the CIA Director may have, hypothetically, said he didn’t give an order for people to stand down and not help those who were in need and crying for help. And that made the President look bad. And perhaps somebody knew information about him who said, “You’re going to up to the Hill to testify or to brief them. You’re not going to say what you had released originally, you’re going to say this is all about a video.” Hypothetically of course, if you knew he had an affair that had not been public, you might, hypothetically, say “Hey Mr. CIA Director, you’re gonna go up there and you’re going to follow the line from the White House, otherwise we’re going to disclose your affair.”

Listen to Gohmert here:

Petraeus himself has given an interview to CNN definitively saying that his resignation as Director of Central Intelligence was unrelated to the response to the Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya. Independent reporting on the ground has also sapped credence from the GOP accusations that the assault had nothing to do with an anti-Islamic video. The New York Times reported in October that the attackers “did tell bystanders that they were attacking the compound because they were angry about the video.”

The truth will soon be known, as Petraeus will now in fact be testifying under oath before the House Intelligence Committee’s closed-door hearings on Friday. Indeed, as U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said on Sept. 16, just days after the attack, “We will wait for the results of the investigation and we don’t want to jump to conclusions before then.”