Republican Representative Kevin McCarthy’s comments to Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Tuesday have created a firestorm, not just among Democrats, but among Republicans as well, who are scrambling to distance themselves from the latest political controversy. The question: whether the $4.5 million taxpayer-funded Benghazi Select Committee was motivated to undermine presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s campaign. After McCarthy’s comments, it appears the answer is yes.
McCarthy, the front-runner for the position of Speaker of the House after Rep. John Boehner steps down at the end of the month, said to Fox News “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? 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.” Responded Hannity, “I’ll give you credit for that. I’ll give you credit where credit is due.”
The Benghazi Committee was reputedly formed to investigate the death of four Americans in the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012, during Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. During the investigation, it was revealed that Clinton used a personal email account to conduct government business, and may have violated federal requirements that her correspondence be retained as part of the State Department records. “Emailgate,” as the scandal has come to be known, has damaged Clinton’s standing in the polls, with one showing that 61 percent of registered voters believe that she isn’t honest and trustworthy.
After McCarthy’s statements, it appears this was the goal all along, as Clinton’s campaign has long allegedi. In the immediate aftermath of McCarthy’s comments, Brad Woodhouse, president of the pro-Clinton group Correct the Record stated “We have been saying for years that Republicans were exploiting the deaths of four Americans for political gain. Kevin McCarthy just admitted it. Disgraceful.”
Clinton echoed Woodhouse’s sentiments in an interview with MSNBC, calling the remarks “deeply distressing.” “When I hear a statement like that, which demonstrates unequivocally
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