There were no-holds-barred when Republicans were going after Hillary Clinton over Benghazi. Those same Republicans are now trying to impede the Russia investigation.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) reportedly committed high crimes while serving as the chair of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Now he is trying to shut down Congress’ Russia investigation.
Trey Gowdy Works To Shut Down Russia Investigation by House Intelligence Committee
NBC News reported that:
As House Republicans make the case for special counsel Robert Mueller to end his investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, they appear ready to bring their own intelligence probe to an end.
Senior Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee tell NBC News that they hope and expect to draw their year-long investigation to an end in the coming weeks, saying they have largely completed all interviews relevant to the narrow scope of inquiry Democrats had agreed to last spring.
… [However] Democrats say they have requested as many as 30 additional interviews with new witnesses, none have been scheduled beyond the end of this month.
Continuing NBC News reported that Gowdy is one of the Republicans leading the rush to shut down the Russia investigation:
Gowdy… told NBC News that it is in the public’s interest to finish as quickly as possible so that they can issue a final report. He accused Democrats of wanting to prolong their work for political reasons and even downplayed the significance of the committee’s work, saying that it was the Justice Department investigation led by Mueller that would produce the most definitive final product.
“There is not a single soul with an open mind who is waiting on the House of Representatives’ Russia investigation to unlock the mysteries of the world for them,” Gowdy said. “There are people who’ve already made up their minds waiting to see whether or not their previously held conviction will be validated. But I think most people are waiting on Mueller. “
Trey Gowdy Reportedly Committed High Crimes While Investigating Benghazi
Gowdy’s work on the Benghazi investigation – which ultimately cleared Hillary Clinton of any wrong-doing stands in stark contrast to his work on the Russia investigation.
The House Select Committee on Benghazi, led by Gowdy, all but exploded in the wake of several stunning revelations in late 2015. The CIA revealed in October 2015 that Trey Gowdy altered documents in an attempt to frame Hillary; and in November 2015, Maj. Bradley Podliska, a former investigator on the Benghazi committee staff, filed a lawsuit against Gowdy seeking damages for defamation.
Salon elaborated on the lawsuit at the time, reporting that, “Maj. Bradley Podliska, a former investigator on the Benghazi committee staff, claimed that he’d been improperly and illegally fired from the committee. He also revealed some damning details about the committee’s work, claiming that it had become singularly focused on Hillary Clinton and the State Department, to the exclusion of other agencies involved in the Benghazi response. According to Podliska, he’d been discriminated against for taking leave to fulfill his duties as an Air Force reservist and for resisting the committee’s intense focus on the State Department.”
It was revealed earlier this month that Gowdy used public funds to make that lawsuit go away.
On Friday 01 December 2017, The Washington Post reported that “Gowdy used $150,000 in taxpayer dollars to settle” that lawsuit.
The Post confirmed the confidential settlement reached between Gowdy and the Benghazi panel and Bradley Podliska after it appeared in a list of settlements released Friday by the congressional Office of Compliance. Gowdy is now the chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
In a list provided to the House Committee on Administration, the OOC disclosed it oversaw one $150,000 settlement involving a claim of veteran status discrimination and retaliation in the last five years. Podliska, in addition to claiming he was fired for his refusal to focus on Clinton, alleged retaliation by his supervisors because he took leave to fulfill his obligations as an Air Force reservist.
Then there is Gowdy’s alleged criminal conduct during his Benghazi
As Liberals Unite reported in October 2, 2015: in a bombshell revelation, the Central Intelligence Agency reached out to Democrats serving on the Select Committee on Benghazi to confirm that Chairman Trey Gowdy had altered documents provided to the committee by Hillary Clinton.
On October 7, 2015, Gowdy sent a response to ranking Benghazi committee member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), referring extensively to Sidney Blumenthal, a long-time confidante and adviser to the Clintons, who served as assistant and senior adviser to Bill Clinton from August 1997 until January 2001.
In addition to Sidney Blumenthal’s business interests, Secretary Clinton also apparently received classified information from Blumenthal – information she should have known was classified at the time she received it. In one email, Blumenthal writes “Tyler spoke to a colleague currently at CIA, who told him the agency had been dependent for intelligence from [redacted due to sources and methods].”1 This information, the name of a human source, is some of the most protected information in our intelligence community, the release of which could jeopardize not only national security but also human lives. Armed with that information, Secretary Clinton forwarded the email to a colleague–debunking her claim that she never sent any classified information from her private email address. There may be other instances as well where Secretary Clinton passed on classified information she received from Sidney Blumenthal. [emphasis added]
- However, as Newsweek reported, the CIA informed the House Select Committee on Benghazi that Gowdy’s claims were false: “Indeed, according to committee correspondence reviewed by Newsweek, the CIA did tell the panel on Saturday that it had reviewed 127 emails between Clinton and her close friend and outside adviser, Sidney Blumenthal, and none of it was deemed classified. Additionally, according to Newsweek: “’The CIA reviewed the material in question and informed State that it required no redactions,’ the agency informed Susan Sachsman Grooms, staff director and general counsel for the panel’s Democrats, on October 17.” [emphasis added]
- Cummings sent a letter to Gowdy in October in which he dropped the bomb – accusing Gowdy of altering documents in an effort to frame Clinton: “To further inflate your claim, you placed your own redactions over the name of the individual with the words, ‘redacted due to sources and methods.’ To be clear, these redactions were not made, and these words were not added, by any agency of the federal government responsible for enforcing classification guidelines.” [emphasis added]
- Cummings continued, emphasizing the fact that the CIA had thoroughly debunked Gowdy’s false claims against Clinton: “Contrary to your claims, the CIA yesterday informed both the Republican and Democratic staffs of the Select Committee that they do not consider the information you highlighted in your letter to be classified. Specifically, the CIA confirmed that ‘the State Department consulted with the CIA on this production, the CIA reviewed these documents, and the CIA made no redactions to protect classified information.’” [emphasis added]
While there is some truth to Gowdy’s claim that no one expects Congress to get to the bottom of the Russia scandal, arguably that attitude is centered around the belief that Republicans have less than no intention of conducting a proper inquiry – one that could lead to revealing the truth of Russian collusion in the 2016 election – and beyond.
Liberals Unite has said it before, and we say it again: Trey Gowdy has all the trappings of a criminal and in all likelihood should be in prison himself.
Maybe those Republican claims that a new special investigator is needed are correct – and Trey Gowdy himself should be one the first targets. Just saying…