Accursed Extraneity

Rep Trey Gowdy (R-SC04), chair of the House Select Committee on Benghazi Conspiracy Theories. (Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP).

There are, of course, partisan considerations, but still, this stands out:

Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, hit back Sunday at a former committee staffer who said he was fired for not cooperating with the panel’s focus on former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s actions in response to the 2012 terrorist attack.

“Until his Friday conversations with media, this staffer has never mentioned Secretary Clinton as a cause of his termination, and he did not cite Clinton’s name in a legally mandated mediation,” the South Carolina Republican said in a written statement. “He also has not produced documentary proof that in the time before his termination he was directed to focus on Clinton.”

(Roll Call)

Okay, look, there is obviously a lot going on with the House Benghazi farce, but Gowdy might have overplayed his hand.

See, the thing is that after multiple investigations failed to turn up the political damage Republicans sought, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA49) repeatedly got caught trying to deceive press and public with manipulatively edited interview transcripts, perpetual fundraising from scandalmongering, and Majority Whip McCarthy’s astounding gaffe, it would seem nobody is really surprised by Major Bradley Podliska’s tale of being fired for “trying to conduct an objective, nonpartisan, thorough investigation”.

And, you know, even that sounds like canned ham stuffed in a turducken, but Rep. Gowdy’s (R-SC04) response is even worse.

Consider for a moment the proposition that either Mr. Gowdy or his predecessor Mr. Issa would be so stupid as to actually write down, somewhere, that this investigation is about wrecking Hillary Clinton.

Look, if the gaffe that brought down a would-be Speaker of the House is to be ignored, then so is the Republican majority. Everybody knows the score, and the thing is that nobody was expecting Mr. McCarthy to be so profanely stupid as to actually come out and say it, so nobody is quite sure what to do next. Should the Democrats stay on the panel? Should the panel even exist? But for specific constitutional protection against such outcomes, Messrs. Gowdy and Issa ought to be arrested. At the very least they ought to repay the expenses out of their own pockets; Mr. Issa, especially, can afford it.

One only asks for documentary evidence they would not be so stupid to document if they are certain they have never documented it. Meanwhile, we ought to ignore all the obvious evidence, and certainly follow the House Republican example and ignore what the Majority Leader said.

Nor can we properly tell whether “stay tuned” is extraneous or a curse.


Image noteRep Trey Gowdy (R-SC04), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. (Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP).

Roll Call Blogger. “Gowdy: Fired Benghazi Staffer ‘Never Mentioned’ Clinton Before Friday”. 218. Roll Call. 11 October 2015.

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