"I would say in some ways these have been among the worst weeks of my life," said Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) to Politico last weekend. Not shocking words coming from Gowdy who heads the controversial Benghazi Committee, the Republican's special select investigation that has all but self-destructed in recent weeks. In May 2014, House Speaker John Boehner chose Gowdy to head a special committee to look into the 2012 terrorist attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. There had already been seven Congressional probes into the incident, specifically on how the State Department and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, handled events leading up to and after the attacks. None of the reports found evidence incriminating Clinton or anyone else. From the beginning, Gowdy faced allegations that the committee was created to politically harm Clinton.
. For reference, the Watergate Committee lasted 1 year, 4 months and 21 days and was not to exceed $2 million; the Pearl Harbor Investigation Committee lasted 9 months and 15 days and was not to exceed $25,000; the Hurricane Katrina Committee set up to investigate preparation and response lasted 5 months and 1 day, costing $86,000.
With more and more tax payer money falling prey to the glacial pace of the Benghazi Committee, it has become evident that their focus has shifted from investigating the 2012 tragedy to Hillary Clinton's emails. In March, long after Clinton had taken responsibility for shortcomings in the State Department's handling of the Benghazi incident, she came under attack for using a private email account to conduct State Department business. Republicans have attempted to use Clinton's blunder to affect her campaign for the Presidency and it seems that this has become a main focus of the publicly funded Benghazi Committee.
However, things began to unravel on Tuesday, September 29, when Republican Representative Kevin McCarthy (who at the time was the front runner for Speaker of the House) made a fateful slip during an interview on Fox News.
"I've got to get the facts. I don't want to sound naive, but facts do not come with a color associated," Gowdy said in May 2014. "There are not Republican facts or Democratic facts or swing-state facts. There are just facts."So far, 1 year, 5 months and 13 days (as of Oct 21) into the investigation, this committee has cost tax payers $4.5 million and counting
"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."The statement sent Democrats reeling as claims about the partisan nature of the professed "non-partisan" committee were confirmed. Republicans added to the ensuing chaos by scrambling to distance themselves from the controversy. What is truly mind-blowing is that Republicans have continued to mess up. U.S. Representative Richard Hanna, said in a live radio interview that "This may not be politically correct, but I think that there was a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people – an individual: Hillary Clinton." Senior Republican officials, who spoke anonymously about confidential conversations, said that John Boehner had long been suspicious of the administration’s handling of the attacks and that Mrs. Clinton’s emails gave him a way to keep the issue alive and to cause political problems for her campaign. Further more, Trey Gowdy's campaign recently returned three donations after the Washington Post questioned the money's ties to political action committee Stop Hillary PAC, which exists to “ensure Hillary Clinton never becomes president of the United States." The Stop Hillary PAC made headlines last week for running a tasteless attack ad during the Democratic Debate featuring Ambassador Christopher Stevens' grave, against his families wishes. Tomorrow, Thursday, October 22, Hillary Clinton will testify in front of the committee in its first public hearing since January. With all the recent bouts of Republican stupidity regarding their super special, "non-partisan," search-for-the-truth, this-doesn't-have-anything-to-do-with-politics committee, this hearing is sure to be its most dramatic session yet.