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Hunting Hillary: Dim Speaker-To-Be Reveals Select Committee’s Partisan Goal

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Hunting Hillary: Dim Speaker-To-Be Reveals Select Committee’s Partisan Goal


Ever since House Speaker John Boehner unveiled yet another committee to investigate Benghazi – the eighth congressional panel to investigate that September 2012 tragedy, along with a State Department Accountability Review Board – suspicions have festered that its purpose was purely partisan and political.

Even Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace sounded skeptical when he interviewed the Speaker last February:

Wallace: Finally, you have set up a select committee to investigate what happened in Benghazi, even though there have been about a half dozen investigations; the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee basically said there was no there there — like this last year. Some people have questioned: is all of this an effort to hurt Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign?

Boehner: No, Chris, it’s — the idea here is to get the American people the facts about what happened.

But on the evening of Sept. 29, the amiably dim Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) fully vindicated those original suspicions during an interview on Fox with Sean Hannity. Attempting to defend the departing Boehner, whom he is touted to succeed as Speaker, McCarthy highlighted what he considers the outstanding achievement of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” said eager beaver McCarthy. “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 that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.” Or in plain English: We brought down Hillary Clinton’s polling numbers by dispatching a select committee to pursue her – and Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman, has done a great job! The equally dim Hannity naturally agreed.

McCarthy’s remarks begin at the 4:25 minute mark:

For the rest of us to fully understand this craven betrayal of the solemn responsibilities entrusted to congressional leadership, let’s begin with Gowdy’s own remarks on the day that his committee’s work began last January.

“I remain hopeful there are still things left in our country that can transcend politics. I remain convinced our fellow citizens deserve all of the facts of what happened before, during, and after the attacks in Benghazi and they deserve an investigative process worthy of the memory of those who died and worthy of the trust of our fellow citizens…

“The people we work for yearn to see the right thing done, for the right reasons, and in the right way. They want to know that something can rise above the din of politics. They want to trust the institutions of government. So to fulfill the duties owed to those we serve and in honor of those who were killed perhaps we can be what those four brave men were: neither Republican nor Democrat. We can just be Americans in pursuit of the facts, the truth, and justice no matter where that journey takes us.”

“Above the din of politics” is an inspiring phrase, but what has ensued ever since — as anyone paying attention already knows — is nothing more than a long series of partisan leaks and other shenanigans by the Republican majority and its staff, all plainly designed to ruin Hillary Clinton by any means necessary.

There is little doubt, for instance, that Gowdy’s crew was behind the false “criminal referral” leak last summer that so badly embarrassed its enthusiastic recipients at the New York Times. The committee members spent hours (and taxpayer dollars) behind closed doors, grilling Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal not about Benghazi, a topic on which he had no personal knowledge, but about his work with Media Matters for America and American Bridge. Of approximately 550 questions posed to Blumenthal, less than two-dozen concerned the terrorist attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

In fact, the pertinent questions that Boehner and Gowdy claimed to be exploring were already answered by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI, now retired). The HPSCI report concluded last November that there was no “stand-down” order, as Boehner once claimed, no intelligence failure, and no inappropriate conduct by any responsible officials before, during, or after the terrorist assault.

Sometime next year, Gowdy will have to account for the fruits of his “investigation,” which by last June had already had expended almost $4 million and will have required far longer to complete than the congressional probes of the Iran-Contra affair or the Watergate scandal. It will surely be amusing to see how he justifies this wasteful circus.

Only three weeks from now, however, he will face the formidable Clinton in a day-long open hearing. As of today, that event is framed not by her email controversy, but by the blurted confession of McCarthy – who exposed the malignant abuse of congressional authority that Gowdy has sought to conceal.

Check out our new e-book The Hunting of Hillary, which recounts the true history of the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks at the John Hay Initiative in Washington on September 28, 2015.   REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Joe Conason

A highly experienced journalist, author and editor, Joe Conason is the editor-in-chief of The National Memo, founded in July 2011. He was formerly the executive editor of the New York Observer, where he wrote a popular political column for many years. His columns are distributed by Creators Syndicate and his reporting and writing have appeared in many publications around the world, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, and Harpers. Since November 2006, he has served as editor of The Investigative Fund, a nonprofit journalism center, where he has assigned and edited dozens of award-winning articles and broadcasts. He is also the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Hunting of the President (St. Martins Press, 2000) and Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (St. Martins Press, 2003). Currently he is working on a new book about former President Bill Clinton's life and work since leaving the White House in 2001. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, including MSNBC's Morning Joe, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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  1. FireBaron September 30, 2015

    Do these guys think nobody but Conservative Partisans watch Faux News(?)? They must, given what often comes out of their mouths. They apparently do not think anyone with a liberal bent watches anything other than MSNBC or PBS!
    What is even better is one of these guys will say one thing when being grilled on Meet the Nation, then say the exact opposite when speaking with Sean Hannity. Ironically, if they sit with Chris Wallace, he will actually throw both lines back at them and demand they explain the dichotomy – something none of the other Faux Celebrities (I will not refer to most of them as news reporters, because they ain’t!) rarely would do.

    1. itsfun October 1, 2015

      Sadly there are very few real news reporters. Most of them have political agendas one way or another.

      1. Bob Eddy October 1, 2015

        No. Most of them have no agenda past keeping their job…and their job is one thing and one thing only…to entertain and attract an audience. Of all the dispicible things Ronald Reagan did, his destruction of the fairness doctrine was probably one of the worst.

        1. itsfun October 1, 2015

          Keep blaming Reagan for our problems, while Obama lies to us, draws red lines, has a miserable economy, no foreign policy except to surrender. His golf handicap may be improving though.

          1. pattreid October 2, 2015

            Yup, you’re right. Miserable economy: We need to go back to the Bush economy, What a great time we had then, in 2008. Bush sure knew how to make some people rich, giving them our taxpayer money for crashing the economy and all. As for foreign policy, what’s yours? Bomb the hell out of the entire world, anyone who disagrees with your way of life, wipe them off the face of the earth? To hell, with our allies, to hell with diplomacy, we just rush off on our own and do what YOU want us to do?

          2. itsfun October 2, 2015

            Labor participation is 62.4%. How many trillion are we now in debt? Obama’s way to fix the economy is tax, spend, borrow our way into prosperity. Foreign policy now is apologize for America being successful, give nuclear power to Iran, draw red lines. Putin has and is making Obama look like a joke. The US representative to the United Nations didn’t even bother to show up yesterday when the prime minister of Israel spoke. great diplomacy. Keep defending this failed and incompetent President.

          3. pattreid October 4, 2015

            Don’t know where you get your information, but perhaps you should try getting facts. Trickle-down and deregulation crashed the economy, under Bush’s regime. Not for nothing, Obama kept the Bush tax rates in place, one of the things I completely disagreed with. The only real tax increases have happened locally. And that is because when the Feds stop sending money to the states, the states have to raise your local taxes to make up for it. I’m in NJ, a republican gov. you may have heard of, who now thinks he can take his special poison to the national level. My property taxes went up $2,000+ in one year. I’m not a huge Obama fan, mostly because he didn’t go far enough soon enough. But, he did recover the Bush free-fall economy. He did get Bin Laden which Bush never even tried to do. The POTUS has made the first step toward improving healthcare, but he didn’t go far enough. There’s still a/h’s out there like the vulture capitalist who bought medication that was selling for $13.50 and raised the price to $750 per pill. This is a medication that has been in the market place for 60 years. The R&D had been recouped many times over, and the capitalist pig was not even the capitalist who had paid for the R&D. This is your ‘free market’ at world. Obama has had nothing to do with the vultures who are out to kill us economically. He has, along with other Dems, struggled to rein in the WS vultures who took us down under Bush’s regime.
            And, of course, and typically, you have your fact wrong about Iran. People who are really involved and in the know, understand that Iran was w/in months of having nuclear capability and the delivery system to attack, not only Israel, but Europe and, in time the US, This puts that capability on hold. Obama did not do this alone. There were other nations involved. The hue and cry coming from the right is due to the fact that they want Obama to never get credit for anything, to accomplish nothing. That’s been the M.O. of the right from day one, and that IS documented.
            Not only that, you who are railing against this Iranian deal, in defense of Israel, on another day are here railing against “the Jews” as taking over the country.

          4. itsfun October 4, 2015

            If you call borrowing your way into a 19 trillion debt fixing the economy then you are greatly mistaken. Obama didn’t get anybody, the US Navy Seals did. Have you seen the latest on the new higher deductible and higher premiums on the obama health care tax. That alone is a huge tax increase. If it wasn’t for capitalism, there would not be a United States as we know it. Keeping the government out of the way of business is what created our great technology and factories and the best way of life in the world. There is no excuse for gouging the cost of that medication. That has already been fixed.

          5. pattreid October 4, 2015

            Cheney: Deficits don’t matter.

            Bush: We don’t have to pay for the Iraq & Afghan wars

            Bush: We can bail out the banks, we don’t have to pay for that, the taxpayers can handle that

            Bush: Cut taxes for everyone who earns over $200K, we don’t need the money

            Bush: We don’t have to pay for Medicare D

            Cheney: DEFICITS DON’T MATTER

            Bush/Cheney doubled the debt. Do you know how much of our “new” debt is the service on those loans?

            Now here’s something you don’t understand: Obamacare is a gift to the insurance companies just as Bush’s Medicare D. There is only one solution, SINGLE PAYER. Then, and only then, will our healthcare issue be controlled.

            “There is no excuse for gouging the cost of that medication. That has already been fixed.” REALLY? What’s the price of the pill today? No, there is no excuse, but that does not stop the corporatists who will push to hurt our pocketbooks at every turn.

            You confuse capitalism and corporatism. We are now way past capitalism, nearly at the end of crony capitalism and emerging firmly into a corporate oligarchy. Lack of strong W.S. regulations, Citizens United and several other really bad decisions have enabled the corporatocracy. We are the only country in the developed world that has a ‘capitalist’ healthcare system, and not surprisingly, it’s the most expensive healthcare in the world. Yet we rank in the mid-30’s for quality of care. Not the greatest bang for the buck, I’d say. And, yes, as I’ve stated frequently here, I have had plenty of experience with the various kinds of social medicine, and not one of those experiences has in any way come near the ‘horror’ stories the ignorati like to wail about on this site.

          6. itsfun October 4, 2015

            spoken like a true Socialist comrade

  2. Insinnergy September 30, 2015

    Wow … too stupid to realise that you shouldn’t actually say out loud how you’re screwing the system to disadvantage a political opponent.
    He’s going to be an AWESOME speaker. Can’t wait.

  3. Theodora30 September 30, 2015

    Now if only Michael Schmidt of the NY Times would admit his being a mouthpiece for these guys in order to help them take down Clinton for some unknown reason. He has actually admitted the whole email flap is about Benghazi. One can only hope.

  4. Dominick Vila October 1, 2015

    McCarthy’s acknowledgment is identical to what McConnell said when he acknowledged that the policies of obstructionism that delayed the economic recovery, and that caused so much pain and misery to millions of Americans, were designed to ensure President Obama was a one-term president. I suspect the Speaker to be did not miss the fact that Mitch was re-elected by a comfortable majority, in spite or because of incredible acknowledgment he made.
    What is really disturbing is not what these bozos say, but the fact that millions of Americans are not bothered by what they acknowledge and support their misdeeds!

    1. plc97477 October 1, 2015

      I doubt most of them even know it.

    2. CPAinNewYork October 2, 2015

      As a self-centered minority who hates whites, you are a perfect example of why American white, middle class voters are not “bothered” by the words of the Mitch McConnells.

    3. midway54 October 6, 2015

      The clueless with low or no information and the vulnerable dupes are heavily concentrated in Dupedom South successfully targeted by the scoundrels at Fox “News” and all the other right wing media propagandists found assembled in the lowest forms of humanity, who quickly work them into a frenzy with flag waving, Bible hoisting, and semi-hysterical, mendacious ranting to the delight and satisfacltion of the plutocrats.

  5. rednekokie October 1, 2015

    I don’t believe any of them ever even believe the public will swallow the swill they so easily blurt out. All they want is TV exposure — no matter what it is — as they are convinced that, as long as they are on television, they will have a following.
    And, unfortunately, probably that is the case. Our political environment has fallen so low, that no one can longer believe it.
    They all spew pure crap — every last one of them.

  6. CrankyToo October 1, 2015

    Every body’s got an a$$hole, but we the people have 246 of them. We call them the House Republican Caucus.

  7. The lucky one October 1, 2015

    Hilary is “untrustable”? Well yes dimwit but the word is untrustworthy and BTW it applies to every presidential candidate except maybe Sanders.

  8. Eleanore Whitaker October 1, 2015

    Actually, this guy did Hillary Clinton a huge favor. He admitted the GOP and right wing men are terrified of Hillary. She is the US’s No. 1 Female and they know it. No woman the GOP has, to date, can match Hillary in accomplishments.

    This is not unlike their attempts to destroy her husband and President Obama’s presidency for the same underlying reason: FEAR of losing domination.

    The sad, pathetic reality is that the Mutton Chops and Corn Pone males stand out among Americans, as ignorant, bullying, tyrannical and totally lacking in any leadership skills of the kind Eisenhower possessed.

    But, when the GOP chose lies, deception and outright gaming as their only back room agenda, they show what they are really made of: BS.

    1. Marilyn Voorhies October 3, 2015

      You forgot to mention Elizabeth Warren; she’s an amazing fighter, doing it every day; she’s a legislator to admire!

  9. Eleanore Whitaker October 1, 2015

    What’s more amazing is that the crazies all come from the same Republican states. Anyone who has heard Cruz, Gohmert, Issa, Rand Paul, Rubio or Fiorina, are shocked that these are Americans with no real claim to fame other than an addiction to power.

    1. TZToronto October 6, 2015

      Must be something in the water . . .

      1. Eleanore Whitaker October 7, 2015

        It’s more a case of in their educational systems and the culture they continue to believe is “normal.” Recently, the state of Texas was caught using school books that portrayed black slaves in the south as “paid workers and indentured slaves who were paying off debts they owed.” If that isn’t rewriting shameful history, I can’t imagine what else they’d call it. The publishers of those school books were so embarrassed that they recalled every one of those books.

        But, that will not stop Confederates who to this very day believe that owning, buying and selling human beings is a human right. That’s how screwed up their heads are.

        This is the reason they all walk around armed with military rifles in public places in the south and midwest and why the sons of the South and Midwest are the chief perpetrators of mass murders in schools, shopping malls and on public streets.

  10. pattreid October 1, 2015

    If this guy actually gets elected to replace Boehner, the GOP will get what they deserve. The one that would result as a side effect: the Secret Service might tighten up their security around our President and VP… one would hope. McCarthy as a potential Prez gives me real calls. He could make GW seem brilliant.

    1. CrankyToo October 1, 2015

      Dig it… The guy’s a tool, but unfortunately (for the country) not one of the sharp ones.

  11. Jinmichigan October 1, 2015

    The comments made by McCarthy in various speeches, shown on the Madow show the other night, show that McCarthy is not qualified to be Speaker. Perfect fit for the repubs, not so great for the country.

  12. FT66 October 1, 2015

    It is disgusting to waste tax payer’s money in witch hunting a person for own benefit. To make the matter even worse, the Clintons are paying taxes as well, of which they used their money to destroy them. Pathetic.

  13. David October 1, 2015

    The proceedings against Bill Clinton originally drove me from the GOP. Then with some distance and objectivity I was able to see that I was never a constituent anyway, because I am not a millionaire.

    1. CrankyToo October 1, 2015

      Hey! Who are you? And what have you done with David?

      1. David October 2, 2015

        I am watching him evolve in a test tube.

        1. CrankyToo October 3, 2015

          I don’t care how he evolves – as long as he keeps doing it.

          You may have noticed that you’ve got quite a few up votes

          for the post that started this thread. I find that liberal thinkers are, in the main, happy to hear from and engage any Republican making sense. The problem is, there are so damned few of them around anymore.

          I say keep evolving, Bro.

  14. Paragryne October 1, 2015

    To err is human. To really screw things up, you need to be a Republican.

  15. jim muster October 1, 2015

    Hillary will eat this” select committe” alive. MaCarthy just did her a great favor. What a numb nut he is. Can’t wait to see her tear the Gray Old Men a new a– hole.

  16. Patricia McCullough October 1, 2015

    These guys are way too stupid to be in public office. I guess he thought only Repubs watched Fox. I am not surprised at the content, but surprised that he would go on Fox and admit what we all knew.

    1. RED October 1, 2015

      These dirtbags have become so twisted that it’s likely he didn’t even think what he was saying was in any way a problem. These traitors have become so used to betraying our country and ignoring any rules decency that they no longer recognize their transgressions as unusual.

    2. Dominick Vila October 1, 2015

      The sad part of this is that every time one of them says something stupid their popularity goes up! That says more about their supporters than about the idiots we elect.

  17. MrGrinns October 1, 2015

    Kevin McCarthy and his conservative ilk are untrustable.

  18. Bob Eddy October 1, 2015

    Sadly, Gowdy and the rest if the Teaparty mafia will never be held responsible and have, to a large extent done what they set out to do. Just like Bill, they have proved nothing, but have instilled the accusations as facts into the minds of a substantial number of people. It appears they no longer are even concerned with being able to prove their accusations and the most important priority is to keep an issue alive as long as possible.

  19. Jmz Nesky October 1, 2015

    The American people should always receive truth in the nation’s affairs but to continue to hunt for that truth because the official panels conclusion does not agree with a party’s assumptions is nit picking at least and vindictive witch hunting at worst. These wankers should accept the official conclusions that they demanded in the first place, stop wasting taxpayer money and get on with governing a nation that you swore to serve.. Stop playing partisan politics and start being representatives of America.

    1. TZToronto October 6, 2015

      Actually, they don’t swear to serve the nation. “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the
      Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and
      domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I
      take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose
      of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of
      the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.” I’m not sure what supporting and defending the Constitution actually means, but there’s nothing in the oath about serving the nation or its people. . . . So I guess they’re free to do as they please.

      1. Jmz Nesky October 6, 2015

        Pretty sad when it’s (supposed to be) the people who elect them.. Thanks for the clarification TZ.

        1. TZToronto October 6, 2015

          You’re right, of course. Anyone with any sense of duty to the people who elected them would try to serve those people, their state, and the nation. Many do their best to get swag for their constituents and themselves, but actual service? Not so much.

  20. InformedVoter October 1, 2015

    The article is nothing more than left dribble. He NEVER said what you folks are claiming. Shillary has done nothing but attempt to hinder the investigation. Shillary will not be the 2016 democratic nominee. As soon as Obama can convince Biden to run, Obama’s DOJ will throw Shillary under the bus. There is no love lost between Obama and the Clintons.

    1. mwh191 October 1, 2015

      Yes! Like you, I believe that mccarthy’s quotes and the video from fox news are entirely fabricated.

      The republican scam is exposed, so give it a rest.

      1. Eleanore Whitaker October 2, 2015

        All this proves is that the Republican Party finds lying acceptable.

        1. plc97477 October 2, 2015

          Almost a prerequisite.

    2. Eleanore Whitaker October 2, 2015

      Having trouble uninformed voter accepting truth? Well, you are in great company. The last 4 GOP presidents weren’t too skilled in telling the truth either. Nixon..outed for Water Gate he lied about being involved in and then tried to get rid of the White House tapes proving he lied and was involved.

      Need more? Reagan? Lied about IranContraGate and then had to publicly admit he lied.

      Bush ’41 was more skilled as a liar. He knew the fine art of lying by omission. He simply kept his mouth shut about his trip to Iran to make a deal with 2 known terrorists.

      Bush ’43…Lies about WMDs the 9/11 Commission proved were lies and nothing but lies.

      So..looks like you are in good company…a political party made up of liars who are practiced ONLY in the art of lying.

    3. Marilyn Voorhies October 3, 2015

      Misinformed voter is more like it!

    4. Mr Corrections October 3, 2015

      “Sure, he’s on video saying exactly this, but you people are making it up!”

      I swear to God you people are getting dumber by the minute.

  21. Dohk October 1, 2015

    Perhaps I have missed it but no one seems to have mentioned the irony in McCarthy’s last name. Can’t wait to see what he’ll do as Speaker.

    1. Eleanore Whitaker October 2, 2015

      He’s not going to be Speaker. The other candidate is from Big Rich Texas That Whole Other Country …that eats up 35% of every US budget. So you know that the Mutton Chops of the GOP will only want a white middle aged male from Big Oil…after all..how else can they make all the rules of how to spend our tax dollars to keep Big Oil from failing?

      1. Dohk October 2, 2015

        I agree completely, but never discount the blindness to irony and satire of the GOP. Remember, they invited Colbert to host the White House Press Dinner a few years ago during the Lon Cheney administration and were SHOCKED and outraged that he made fun of them. I never laughed so hard. They are easily able to vote against their own interests, that’s how they got there in the first place.

  22. Lynda Groom October 2, 2015

    So Kevin stepped into it yet again. No surprise considering his track record. He’s clearly not ready for prime time. Boy the bench of leadership in the House is sure not what it used too be.

  23. pisces63 October 2, 2015

    The funny part is, he is back peddling so fast, he is now in the dark ages. NOT!! I am loving this. FINALLY the truth is out and the idiot right will blame…..Hillary and Obama for putting out wrong information.

  24. Eleanore Whitaker October 2, 2015

    No matter how the GOP Hitler Youth and their SS men try in vain to smear Hillary, Elizabeth Warren or Planned Parenthood, all they prove is that these are men scared silly of powerful women. It goes against everything their Big Daddies taught them about a “woman’s place.”

    Let’s be honest here. The only reason the GOP attack dogs were EVER after Hillary is because they know she represents women they hate most: educated, accomplished, powerful and unwilling to play men’s games.

    Hillary, without question, has caused the testicles of the GOP peons to shrink in morbid, irrational fear. Hillary is THE most powerful woman in the US at present. And wow…doesn’t that really hurt the bitchy boys of the GOP?

  25. Eleanore Whitaker October 2, 2015

    Anyone who has the misfortune to watch the House and Senate on CNN knows that politicians from Republican states have no reservations about making up outright lies. Then, when they are called on those lies, they play the “victim” role.

    That’s beginning to wear pretty thin. The GOP is not the party of Eisenhower. It’s the party of Hitler.

  26. Carolyn Kay October 3, 2015

    Joe, it would be really helpful if The National Memo would start a frequently updated scoreboard of taxpayer dollars wasted for partisan purposes since 1994. One of the contributors to the Daily Kos came up with billions up to a year ago. – http://bit.ly/1MDiwpq

    It would be good to include the cost of defending against partisan lawsuits by Judicial Watch and other related organizations, too. It’s time the taxpayers rebelled against paying to promote the crazed right-wing agenda.


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