Dem to Clinton: Benghazi Panel Is Here to ‘Prosecute You’
Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash) called out Thursday’s House Select Committee on Benghazi, calling it a “partisan exercise” that was designed to prosecute Hillary Clinton.
The Republicans were salivating at the opportunity to publicly embarrass Clinton, but their committee failed to achieve any results and most experts believe that the presidential candidate escaped the hearing unscathed.
“The purpose of this committee is to prosecute you,” he told the Democratic presidential front-runner during her Congressional testimony that afternoon. “There will be plenty of time for that next year.”
“It is a prosecution,” said Smith, a member of the panel. “It is a partisan exercise.”
“We are now five hours into it [and] we have learned nothing substantive about what happened in Benghazi,” he added of the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Libya that killed four Americans.
“My goodness — I hope I never have to go through that scrutiny. I would not survive it, and I imagine most other people wouldn’t too.”
The Hill reports:
Smith said the increasingly partisan nature of the Benghazi probe had distorted its original purpose.
“It is the obsession with the emails that takes us off what should be the focus of this committee,” he said.
“I don’t think this committee should have been founded in the first place,” he added. “The one thing that’s been said during this hearing that’s furthest from the truth is that this isn’t a prosecution. It most certainly is that.”
Panel Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) quickly rebuked Smith and other Democrats for challenging their panel’s efforts.
“It infuriates me to hear folks to my left who don’t raise a single whisper to spend $50 million to train five ISIS fighters, but God forbid we spend one-tenth of that to investigate [Benghazi],” Gowdy said, referencing Democrats complaining about taxpayer dollars spent on his committee.
“They say they want to get at the truth but the truth is they spent most of the time today … attacking members of this committee and this process,” Pompeo said of Democrats on the committee.
“I think that’s a violation of their duty to their country and, most importantly, to the duty of the families [of the Benghazi victims],” he added.
Clinton gave her testimony before Congress on Thursday after months of pressure for insight into her tenure as secretary of State.
Photo credit: Washington Times.