The ranking Democrat on the House Benghazi Committee accused someone affiliated with the panel of leaking false information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., fired off a letter Monday to committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., asserting that “it now appears that someone who was given access to the Select Committee’s documents leaked doctored information to the press in order to make unsubstantiated allegations against Secretary Clinton.”
Gowdy responded with a letter of his own Monday, calling Cummings’ claim a “desperate accusation.”
“I would note it is the latest in a series of breathless accusations you have made without effort to provide proof of the fact beyond your mere assertion of the claim,” Gowdy wrote. “I find your repeated partisan attempts to distract from the facts and substance of this investigation…to be tedious and mendacious.”
Cummings was referring to a June 17 online Politico story in which an anonymous source who claimed to have read email exchanges between then-Secretary of State Clinton, confidant Sidney Blumenthal, and Media Matters about how to deal with criticism of Clinton’s handling of 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed.
Cummings said the emails, which have since been released to the public, show no coordinated effort to downplay the Benghazi narrative.
“Unfortunately, this is only the latest in a reckless pattern of selective Republican leaks and mischaracterizations of evidence relating to the Benghazi attacks,” Cummings wrote.
Gowdy wrote that he’s had it with Cummings’ complaints.
“Accordingly, I have instructed my staff to no longer waste time responding to your increasingly wild, innacurate and baseless claims and to instead remain focused on discharging the mission given to us by the House of Representatives,” he wrote.