POLITICS
10/14/2015 09:47 pm ET | Updated Jan 03, 2017

Second GOP Congressman Admits Benghazi Committee Is All About Hillary Clinton (UPDATE)

"Sometimes the biggest sin you can commit in D.C. is to tell the truth."

A second congressman admitted on Wednesday that the Republican House committee created to investigate the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, is solely "designed to go after" Hillary Clinton.

“This may not be politically correct, but I think that there was a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people and an individual, Hillary Clinton,” Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) said on WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning, a radio show in upstate New York.

Republicans say they formed the House Select Committee on Benghazi to investigate the attack. Democrats have complained that the committee, which has cost taxpayers about $4.5 million during its 17 months of existence, was primarily a political stunt. 

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) last month let it slip that the committee aimed to sink Clinton's poll numbers. His gaffe reverberated across Capitol Hill and was a major factor in McCarthy's abrupt decision to drop out of the race to replace outgoing House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

McCarthy later walked back his comments, claiming he misspoke.

But on Wednesday, Hanna suggested that McCarthy was being truthful.

"Sometimes the biggest sin you can commit in D.C. is to tell the truth," Hanna said.

Clinton, who has repeatedly said she is cooperating with the committee's investigation, is set to testify next week.

On Sunday, a former committee staffer alleged that the chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), fired him for not focusing the probe on Clinton and the State Department.

Clinton's campaign on Wednesday held up Hanna's comments as further proof that the committee has "zero credibility."

"House Republicans aren't even shy anymore about admitting that the Benghazi Committee is a partisan farce," campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement. "After failing to produce any new information on the tragic 2012 attacks at Benghazi despite a 17-month investigation, John Boehner has reportedly urged the committee to shift its focus to Hillary Clinton's emails in an ongoing effort to try to hurt her politically. Hillary Clinton will still attend next week's hearing, but at this point, Trey Gowdy's inquiry has zero credibility left."

UPDATE: Oct. 15: Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the committee chairman, denounced Hanna's remarks in a statement.

“There are seven members of the Benghazi Committee who are intimately familiar with the work of the committee, the motives behind the work, and the results of that work. Congressman Hanna is not one of them. The Members of the committee do not discuss its work in Conference, and Mr. Hanna has never asked for a briefing by the committee staff," he said.
 
Gowdy defended the committee and its investigation.
 
“My team of investigators, drawn from the military, federal agencies and the congressional oversight and ethics committees, has worked hard, and in an above-board manner. It is unfortunate when claims are made by those who do not know what the committee has done, why it has done it, or the results of its work."
 

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