Benghazi Committee Shuts Down

“The special congressional investigation into the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi is officially over now that the panel filed its final report the day before the House adjourned for the year,” USA Today reports.

“The Select Committee on Benghazi initially released its findings in June but remained in place for months afterward trying to declassify supporting documents like emails and interview transcripts for public release… The panel, which spent more than $7.8 million over two and a half years, disbanded at the end of the 114th Congress, before a new Congress begins in January.”

Chris Stevens’ Sister Doesn’t Blame Clinton

Anne Stevens, the sister of ambassador Chris Stevens who was killed in Benghazi, Libya in 2012, told the New Yorker that she does not blame Hillary Clinton for his death.

Said Stevens: “I do not blame Hillary Clinton or Leon Panetta. They were balancing security efforts at embassies and missions around the world. And their staffs were doing their best to provide what they could with the resources they had. The Benghazi Mission was understaffed. We know that now. But, again, Chris knew that. It wasn’t a secret to him. He decided to take the risk to go there. It is not something they did to him. It is something he took on himself.”

She added that it is “inappropriate” she to make Benghazi an election issue.

GOP Lawmaker Says Clinton Tricked Benghazi Committee

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), a member of the House Select Committee On Benghazi, said Hillary Clinton laid “a trap” for the committee by making her Oct. 22 appearance go “as long as possible,” BuzzFeed News reports.

Said Westmoreland: “As you know, some of you may have watched the marathon Hillary Clinton fiasco, and I say that because Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the committee, wanted to interview her in private, and she said, ‘No, I want to do this in public.’ Now to me, that was us stepping in a trap because we should have known that she was going to go on and just stall, debate, filibuster, on these answers to make it go as long as possible, so we would look cruel.”

Worse Than the Benghazi Committee?

David Roberts: “The Benghazi committee is not even the worst committee in the House. I’d argue that the House science committee, under the chairmanship of Lamar Smith (R-TX), deserves that superlative for its open-ended, Orwellian attempts to intimidate some of the nation’s leading scientists and scientific institutions.”

“The science committee’s modus operandi is similar to the Benghazi committee’s — sweeping, catchall investigations, with no specific allegations of wrongdoing or clear rationale, searching through private documents for out-of-context bits and pieces to leak to the press, hoping to gain short-term political advantage — but it stands to do more lasting long-term damage.”

The GOP Benghazi Train Wreck

Charlie Cook: “Two of the worst sins in polit­ics are to be­come ob­sessed with pla­cat­ing your party’s base and to be­come con­sumed with hat­ing your op­pon­ent. This cer­tainly isn’t the first time a party has en­gaged in one or both self-de­struct­ive activ­it­ies, and it won’t be the last. The ques­tion is wheth­er the Re­pub­lic­an Party is squan­der­ing the power­ful time-for-a-change dy­nam­ic, which should be work­ing to its ad­vant­age this year, by com­ing across as a party that is un­worthy of be­ing en­trus­ted with all three branches of our fed­er­al gov­ern­ment.”

Americans Lose Patience With Both Sides on Benghazi

“Majorities in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll disapprove of the way Hillary Clinton has handled questions about the attacks and her conduct using a personal e-mail server while secretary of state.”

“But a nearly equal majority identify the Republican-led investigation into the events as a politically motivated attempt to damage the former secretary of state rather than an effort to raise legitimate concerns.”

A new CNN/ORC poll finds that 75% of Americans believe the House committee investigating the Benghazi attacks is using that investigation for political gain.

Clinton Super PAC Will Run Benghazi Ad

The super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton “will advertise on television for the first time in the 2016 presidential campaign, running an ad for two days in the first four early nominating states before her congressional testimony Thursday on the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya,” the New York Times reports.

“The ad has not been released. But the ad buy, expected to cost six figures, will run on cable networks in New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina.”

Another GOP Lawmaker Says Benghazi Committee Is About Politics

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) said the House Select Committee on Benghazi “was designed to go after people and an individual, Hillary Clinton,” CNN reports.

Hanna invoked House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) comments: “After what Kevin McCarthy said, it’s difficult to accept at least a part of it was not. I think that’s the way Washington works. But you’d like to expect more from a committee that’s spent millions of dollars and tons of time.”

GOP Staffer Fired from Benghazi Committee

“A Republican staffer from the House Select Committee on Benghazi has been fired after he says he developed concerns about the politicized nature of the panel’s investigation,” the Washington Post reports.

“The criticism from an experienced Republican intelligence investigator comes amid growing Democratic Party complaints that the special committee was on a mission to undermine former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton and her bid for the presidency.”

McCarthy Tries to Walk Back Benghazi Comments

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) appeared on Fox News to walk back his comments that House Benghazi Committee was about taking down Hillary Clinton’s approval rating.

Said McCarthy :”This committee was set up for one sole purpose, to find the truth on behalf of the families of four dead Americans. Now I did not intend to imply in any way that that work was political. Of course it is not, look at the way they have carried themselves out. The point I was trying to make and I want to be very clear about this, I wasn’t saying the committee was political, that committee is solely to get the truth out.”

But as First Read notes, the Republican Party’s House campaign arm, ran the following fundraising solicitation yesterday: “You’re now a Benghazi Watchdog. Let’s go after Obama and Hillary Clinton. Help us fight them now.” It’s since been deleted.

McCarthy Hands Clinton Gift By Undermining Hearings

Hillary Clinton’s “upcoming appearance before the U.S. House Select Committee on Benghazi was supposed to be a crucible: a chance for Republicans to prosecute the former secretary of state for her handling of the 2012 terrorist attacks that killed four Americans as well as for her use of a private e-mail server,” the Washington Post reports.

“Instead, it may have turned into a political gift for Clinton following this week’s suggestion by the likely next House speaker, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), that the taxpayer-funded Benghazi investigation was politically motivated. Clinton’s allies say his comments will help recast Clinton’s scheduled Oct. 22 hearing as a partisan inquisition rather than a fact-finding mission about the attacks in Libya.”

“McCarthy boasted in two television interviews on Tuesday that the committee’s work already had achieved a desired result: Clinton’s decline in the polls.”

GOP Will Drag Benghazi Investigation Into 2016

Hillary Clinton “has agreed to testify before the Benghazi committee this month but don’t expect Republicans to be satisfied with her appearance,” The Hill reports.

“House Republicans have now spent a full year investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Libya — including whether any of the former secretary of State’s actions may have contributed to the incident — and there are few indications there will be a speedy conclusion to their inquiries.”