The top candidate to replace House Speaker John Boehner was under fire Wednesday for comments he made suggesting that Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers were dropping in part because of a Republican-led inquiry by the Committee investigating the fatal 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, said in an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News. “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.”
Democrats quickly seized on the comments as evidence that Republicans are using the investigation merely as “a political campaign against Hillary Clinton.”
“This stunning concession from Rep. McCarthy reveals the truth that Republicans never dared admit in public: the core Republican goal in establishing the Benghazi Committee was always to damage Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and never to conduct an even-handed search for the facts,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, the committee’s top Democrat.
Several Democrats, including Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA, called on House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio to disband the committee.
The American Democracy Legal Fund has filed a complaint with the House Office of Congressional Ethics against McCarthy for violating House ethics rules by using official resources for political purposes.
The committee, formed in May 2014, has become one of the longest-running investigative committees in House history. It is now looking into Clinton’s use of a private email system, among other things.
“I think the thing that's happening here is that Leader McCarthy has committed the classic Washington-gaffe of saying something that everybody already knows is true,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.