Rep. Adam Schiff is one reluctant member of the Benghazi Select Committee. Although he knew what he was signing up for, the California Democrat says the panel’s efforts have strayed from its original goals and he wants out.
“That, I think, is going to be a matter of our discussion after the hearing this week: How much longer does it make sense for us to continue to participate?" Schiff said.
He's not the only one looking for the exit. One of Schiff's fellow Democrats on the committee, Elijah Cummings, has been badmouthing the panel for months.
Chairman Trey Gowdy had something to say about that.
Kevin McCarthy’s unfortunate "Hannity" comments damaged the committee’s reputation by suggesting it was based on a political agenda to ruin Hillary Clinton’s 2016 chances. Clinton’s team immediately seized the sound bite as fodder for a campaign ad. Gowdy has done his best to defend the work he and his committee have done to find answers into the tragedy in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including one of our ambassadors. They have interviewed and investigated dozens of people who aren’t named Clinton, he insisted.
Since Clinton was secretary of state during the Benghazi attacks, it only makes sense she should face the committee. She'll do so this Thursday.
Schiff will be there for the sole purpose of ensuring the questioning is fair, he said, before suggesting he and the other Democrats on the panel give the committee "legitimacy."
Many Americans would agree that an investigation into the murders of four Americans is legitimate regardless of which congressmen are sitting on the panel.
"At the same time, you know, we lend legitimacy, by being there, to a committee that really has none," the California congressman said.
The State Department has just released 1,300 emails from late Ambassador Chris Stevens. As the committee sifts through those correspondences, Clinton will have a lot of questions to answer come Thursday.
I doubt Gowdy would miss Schiff and Cumming's presence, considering he thinks they have contributed "nothing" in the past 17 months during the committee's investigation.