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The BENGHAZI!!!!!!! Scam

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GOWDY2

In a rational universe, as Bouie says, the House Benghazi committee would be a punchline:

Republicans have consistently denied that this is a partisan fishing expedition. “My interest is in the past, not the future. I’m trying to figure out what happened to four Americans in Benghazi,“ said South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, who leads the committee, in reply to further criticism from Cummings. But it’s not hard to understand Democratic frustration. Three separate investigations—from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, from the House Select Committee on Intelligence, and from the Senate Select Committee—cleared Clinton and the State Department of particular wrongdoing. There were no warnings and there was no cover-up. At most, the agency and its leaders were negligent in the face of danger.

Despite this, Republicans pressed ahead. In the 17 months since the committee was formed, investigators haven’t found anything to contradict earlier assessments. Then, as now, there’s no evidence of a cover-up from Clinton or the administration.

[…]

But that was before Boehner announced his retirement, and before his assumed successor—House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy—said too much about the actual purpose of the committee. “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable,” McCarthy said to Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.”

This connection—between the committee, the email scandal, and Clinton’s declining numbers—was debatable. But the words were there: The committee wasn’t about finding the truth behind the attack in Benghazi; it was about tanking Clinton ahead of the election.

[…]

This weekend, another shoe dropped for the Benghazi committee. “A former investigator for the House Select Committee on Benghazi says he was unlawfully fired in part because he sought to conduct a comprehensive probe into deadly attacks on the U.S. compound instead of focusing on Hillary Rodham Clinton and the State Department,” reported the Associated Press.

The New York Times followed with a major story that detailed the degree to which “the focus of the committee’s work has shifted from the circumstances surrounding the Benghazi attack to the politically charged issue of Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.” What’s more, according to the Times, this was a particular preoccupation for Boehner, who pushed the committee to focus on Clinton’s emails.

[…]

At this point, the House Select Committee on Benghazi is a dead letter. Democrats will dismiss it entirely, Hillary Clinton—in her upcoming testimony—will likely treat it with contempt, and the media will disregard its claims. Indeed, there’s a chance this could spread beyond the committee to Clinton’s email controversy.

I hope that the optimism at the end is warranted. I fear that it is not. The media rule that governs all Clinton “scandals” from Whitewater on seems to be “where there’s enough flatulence, there’s fire.” I suspect that the press can pretend that the Benghazie and especially email servers are real scandals for a while yet.

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