Congress

Benghazi probe not about hurting Clinton’s WH run, Boehner says

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks in Des Moines, Iowa, last month. House Speaker John Boehner insisted Thursday that the House Benghazi committee’s investigation isn’t about trying to drag Clinton’s campaign down.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks in Des Moines, Iowa, last month. House Speaker John Boehner insisted Thursday that the House Benghazi committee’s investigation isn’t about trying to drag Clinton’s campaign down. AP

Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner insisted Thursday that the Republican-controlled House’s Benghazi committee isn’t about trying to drag down Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

"This investigation has never been about former Secretary of State Clinton and never will be," Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement responding to calls from Democrats that the committee be disbanded. "Indeed, the Select Committee’s very existence is only the result of the Obama administration’s obstruction of routine congressional investigations and its failure to properly comply with subpoenas and document requests."

Boehner’s response comes on the heels of comments by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who seemed to suggest that the committee was formed to cripple Clinton’s White House prospects.

"Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?" McCarthy, the favorite to succeed the retiring Boehner when House Republicans hold leadership elections next week, told 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. But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen."

Congressional Democrats jumped on McCarthy’s remarks. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., blasted Republicans, accusing them of turning the deadly 2012 terrorist on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, "into the cheapest political farce imaginable."

"According to the odds-on-favorite, future Speaker of the House, the Benghazi special committee was put together to hurt Hillary Clinton politically – to make her poll numbers drop," Reid said. "This is evidence of what Democrats have said all along – the Benghazi committee is a political attack meant to influence the 2016 presidential elections."

Boehner dismissed Democratic complaints, saying "the fact remains that Secretary Clinton and the Obama administration have done everything they can do to delay, derail, and stop this investigation."

"The members of this committee have worked diligently and professionally to fulfill this important mission and they will continue to do so."

William Douglas: 202-383-6026, @williamgdouglas

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