Democrats Blast GOP After House Leader Admits Benghazi Committee Designed To Smear Clinton

House Majority Leader and front-runner for Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy admitted on Fox News that the Select Committee on Benghazi was designed to attack Hillary Clinton, and Democrats are slamming him for it.

On Hannity, Rep. McCarthy told the host that “Everybody thought Hil­lary Clin­ton was un­beat­able right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee.” He added, “Her numbers are dropping, why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened.”

While many have suspected the investigation was designed to attack Clinton (after it failed to derail President Obama’s re-election), the admission by a senior Republican was shocking. Democrats soon reacted.

From a spokesperson for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA):

A spokesman for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said McCarthy’s comments show that Republicans “were never interested in a bipartisan investigation to improve the security of Americans abroad.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who is the top Democrat on the Benghazi committee, issued a blistering press release:

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“This stunning concession from Rep. McCarthy reveals the truth that Republicans never dared admit in public:  the core Republican goal in establishing the Benghazi Committee was always to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and never to conduct an even-handed search for the facts.  It is shameful that Republicans have used this tragedy and the deaths of our fellow Americans for political gain.  Republicans have blatantly abused their authority in Congress by spending more than $4.5 million in taxpayer funds to pay for a political campaign against Hillary Clinton.”

The Clinton campaign also reacted:

“This is a damning display of honesty by the possible next Speaker of the House,” Press Secretary Brian Fallon said in a statement emailed to POLITICO. “Kevin McCarthy just confessed that the committee set up to look into the deaths of four brave Americans at Benghazi is a taxpayer-funded sham. This confirms Americans’ worst suspicions about what goes on in Washington,” Press Secretary Brian Fallon said in a statement emailed to POLITICO.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) expressed shame:

“We always knew the Benghazi committee was about turning a tragedy into a political attack on HRC. Now the next Speaker is bragging about it!”

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) responded:

“McCarthy statement confirms that the Benghazi committee is only about damaging Hillary Clinton politically. Nothing more.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), who is also on the Benghazi committee:

Last night, Rep. Kevin McCarthy bluntly acknowledged what many of us have said ever since the Select Committee on Benghazi was formed – that it’s true purpose had little to do with finding out anything new of that tragic night that claimed four American lives, and everything to do with attacking a likely Democratic nominee for President. In boasting of how the Select Committee had driven down the poll numbers of Secretary Hillary Clinton, McCarthy laid bare the abusive purpose of this taxpayer funded committee.

And indeed, after 16 months and 4.5 million dollars spent, the Select Committee has gained no new insights into the attacks in Benghazi; worse still, the committee’s leadership cannot even identify a legitimate objective for its continuing operation. Rep. McCarthy’s acknowledgment of the Select Committee’s true and illegitimate objective further underscores that it is time to shut the Committee down.

Featured image via House GOP