When this country was created, there was nothing in the Constitution expressly enabling Congress to act as a judiciary, compelling witnesses to testify in their investigations. For nearly as long as this country has been in existence, however, that has been the case, and the court supports it
. Sometimes these committees are good (investigating actual malfeasance), but more often then not they are special interest groups within the Congress going after those with whom they are philosophically opposed.
Such has been the case with the numerous Benghazi investigations by the Republican Congress. The Republican House's own Intelligence Committee determined last year
that there was no "there" there with regards to the White House's (and SoS Hillary Clinton's in particular) actions that constituted anything shady. That should have been the end of it.
But of course - 2014 was an election year, and with it came fresh faces eager to prove their bona fides
to their electorates and start their (in their minds) destined ascension among the ranks of the politically connected and powerful. Yes - they came to DC to become that which they professed to despise and campaigned against. Benghazi seemed like a no-brainer, and the Republicans have been campaigning against Clinton's seemingly eventual presidential run since 2006.
To all outside observers, this was an obvious partisan and 2016 presidential campaign strategy. That's why the only shocking thing about
a two Republicans
coming forward and admitting that it was all about hurting SoS Clinton
is that they said it out loud in front of the media (note: the link has an auto-play video. Apologies..)
Rep. Richard Hanna, R-New York, said Wednesday on New York's' WIBX 950, "Sometimes the biggest sin you can commit in D.C. is to tell the truth."
"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," said Hanna, who is not a member of the committee. "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."
That was strike one.
Strike two came when the committee clumsily outed a CIA source
. It takes a lot of time, money, and effort to develop reliable spies in the Middle East, and revealing them not only wastes all those resources, it disrupts our efforts to keep tabs on what's going on there to protect Americans, and endangers the life of the spy. That is the same thing that resulted in Scooter Libby getting convicted during the Bush administration. This alone deserves a special prosecutor investigation, although doing so would result in loud claims of partisanship against the Obama administration, which would be the height of irony... or hypocrisy... or something.
What should be the final blow came yesterday when it was revealed that Trey Gowdy (R-SC) altered documents prior to entering them into evidence by redacting portions of an email to create the illusion that it contained sensitive secret data. The CIA revealed that they did not
, revealing the clumsy attempt by Gowdy to frame Clinton. Falsifying evidence would be a crime in a normal court. This is not a normal court, but if Scooter Libby can go to jail for lying, Gowdy can certainly go to jail for this - and he should.
Clinton is still scheduled to testify tomorrow, and she says she will, but at this point it's a joke. The Democrats are mulling over whether to just walk away
from the whole thing. I personally would love to see them it all up for good, but there's not much left except to bring down the final curtain on this amateur hour show.