A second House Republican has now conceded that the overarching purpose of the House Select Committee on Benghazi has been to attack former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In September, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) argued that one of House Republicans’ successes has been using the Benghazi Committee to drive down Clinton’s poll numbers. Though McCarthy tried to walk back his controversial comments, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) argued on Wednesday that the Majority Leader had it right to begin with.
“Sometimes the biggest sin you can commit in D.C. is to tell the truth,” Hanna said in an interview on Keeler in the Morning, a radio show in upstate New York. The third-term congressman paused for a moment, perhaps recognizing the importance of what he was about to say, before going on to agree with McCarthy’s original statement.
“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 said.
He explained further why he believes the Benghazi Committee’s purpose has been in part to attack Clinton. “After what Kevin McCarthy said, it’s difficult to accept at least a part of it was not,” Hanna said. “I think that’s the way Washington works. But you’d like to expect more from a committee that’s spent millions of dollars and tons of time.”
Listen to it (relevant section starts at 9:45):
For years, House Republicans had claimed the Benghazi probe was about investigating the events surrounding the 2012 attack in Libya that left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, rather than undermining Clinton’s potential presidential bid.
But after McCarthy’s Kinsley gaffe, which was among the factors that doomed his seemingly-inevitable rise to the House Speakership, and now Hanna’s admission, there is growing doubt even among GOPers about the Benghazi Committee’s true purpose.
McCarthy and Hanna aren’t the only Republicans to publicly declare that the Benghazi Committee has been on a partisan quest. Over the weekend, Maj. Bradley Podliska, a Republican investigator formerly working on the Committee, revealed that he had lost his job for refusing to solely focus his investigation on Clinton. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who heads the Committee, denies the charge.
Clinton is set to testify before the Committee, which has now continued longer than the Watergate probe, on October 22nd.