Rep. Richard Hanna said Wednesday on a radio show in New York said that “a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people and an individual, Hillary Clinton.”
Clinton is scheduled to testify before the panel on October 22.
Brian Fallon, the Clinton campaign’s press secretary, said Wednesday that Hanna’s comment show that “House Republicans aren’t even shy anymore about admitting that the Benghazi Committee is a partisan farce.”
“Hillary Clinton will still attend next week’s hearing,” Fallon said, “but at this point, (Chairman) Trey Gowdy’s inquiry has zero credibility left.”
Hanna’s comments come after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made similar comments about the investigation into the 2012 terrorist attack that cost four Americans their lives, insinuating that one of the committee’s goals was to sink Clinton’s poll numbers.
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” McCarthy said on Fox News earlier this month. “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.”
McCarthy’s comments came in the middle of the majority leader’s bid for House speaker and eventually played a role in sinking his campaign. They also provided Clinton, her campaign aides and her supporters with a tailor-made responds to political questions when Clinton testifies.
Hanna invoked McCarthy’s comments during the radio interview.
“After what Kevin McCarthy said, it’s difficult to accept at least a part of it was not,” he 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.”
At the first Democratic debate on Tuesday night, Clinton previewed how she will likely go after the committee during her testimony, telling the audience that the committee is “basically an arm of the Republican National Committee.”
“It is a partisan vehicle, as admitted by the House Republican majority leader, Mr. McCarthy, to drive down my poll numbers. Big surprise. And that’s what they have attempted to do,” Clinton said, adding later, “But I’ll be there. I’ll answer their questions.”
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