Ever since Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) admitted that the primary function of his House Benghazi committee was to publicly smear Hillary Clinton and damage her credibility, the details of their gross misconduct have begun pouring out, indicating that this was a much more elaborate and extensive conspiracy than it originally appeared. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), a ranking member of the House Benghazi committee, is determined that justice be served for the blatant misuse of public funds and that Secretary Clinton’s name be cleared.
Now Cummings and the Central Intelligence Agency have caught Chairman Rep.Trey Gowdy (R-SC) culpable in one of the biggest scandals to hit the notorious committee. Gowdy accused Hillary Clinton of releasing the name of a classified CIA informant in her email, saying that her email server contained “some of the most protected information in our intelligence community, the release of which could jeopardize not only national security but human lives.”
This has been found to be patently false. Gowdy has been exposed for altering documents and distorting information in order to make Clinton look culpable – except none of that information was classified, as stated in this sharp letter issued by Cummings:
The problem with your accusation—as with so many others during this investigation—is that you failed to check your facts before you made it, and the CIA has now informed the Select Committee that you were wrong. I believe your accusations were irresponsible, and I believe you owe the Secretary an immediate apology.
To further inflate your claim, you placed your own redactions over the name of the individual with the words, “redacted due to sources and methods.” To be clear, these redactions were not made, and these words were not added, by any agency of the federal government responsible for enforcing classification guidelines.
Contrary to your claims, the CIA yesterday informed both the Republican and Democratic staffs of the Select Committee that they do not consider the information you highlighted in your letter to be classified. Specifically, the CIA confirmed that “the State Department consulted with the CIA on this production, the CIA reviewed these documents, and the CIA made no redactions to protect classified information.”
Unfortunately, you sent your letter on October 7 without checking first with the CIA. Now that we have done so, we have learned that your accusations were incorrect.
Not only has Gowdy been found leading his committee on a partisan crusade, he’s been fabricating evidence and openly lying about the contents of Clinton’s email server. It is an absolute travesty that the deaths of four Americans have been used in such a vile fashion by House Republicans. Instead of honoring their memories and learning from the mistakes that were made, in order to prevent them from occurring again, they have been turned into a political firebomb aimed at discrediting one of our nation’s most prominent and dedicated public servants. The legality of all this is still unclear, but one would assume that some consequences would be in store for distorting intelligence documents and openly lying to the public.
In an atmosphere of political dysfunction where the House Republicans have become a roadblock preventing any substantial legislative action from moving forward, it’s time to question the role of the Republican Party in our politics at all. They have wasted millions and produced nothing; they draw their salaries and waste our nation’s time on ridiculous witch-hunts against Planned Parenthood and Hillary Clinton but do nothing as our infrastructure crumbles and our middle class withers away under the ravenous hunger of the wealthy oligarchs. They do not deserve a place in the political discourse of a civilized nation.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.