The legal battle between the House Benghazi Committee and its former investigator, Todd Podliska, escalated Monday afternoon, when Podliska’s lawyers alleged that Chairman Trey Gowdy violated government confidentiality rules and federal law in responding to allegations made by Podliska.
“Both Representative Gowdy and the committee have clearly violated terms of the confidentiality agreement and the Congressional Accountability Act,” said Peter Romer-Friedman, one of Podliska’s attorneys, to MSNBC on Monday afternoon.
The lawyers allege that Gowdy and the committee improperly released confidential information regarding an employment dispute with Podliska, in an effort to discredit him.
This is what Gowdy said that upset the investigator so much:
Shortly after Mr. Podliska appeared in an interview Sunday with CNN’s “State of the Union,” Mr. Gowdy released a statement denying what he described as “sensationalist and fabulist claims,” adding that Mr. Podliska has “demanded money” from the committee.
“One month ago, this staffer had a chance to bare his soul, and raise his claim this Committee was focused on Secretary Clinton in a legal document, not an interview, and he did not do it,” said Mr. Gowdy, South Carolina Republican. “Nor did he mention Secretary Clinton at any time during his counseling for deficient performance, when he was terminated, or via his first lawyer who withdrew from representing him.”
“In fact, throughout the pendency of an ongoing legal mediation, which is set to conclude October 13, this staffer has not mentioned Secretary Clinton,” Mr. Gowdy said in the statement. “But as this process prepares to wrap, he has demanded money from the Committee, the Committee has refused to pay him, and he has now run to the press with his new salacious allegations about Secretary Clinton.”
Yeah that kind of sounds like they are trying to discredit this guy with confidential information.
This is how a spokesperson for the Benghazi committee responded to the investigator's accusations:
“The ludicrousness of a former employee who has spread himself across the news media over the weekend complaining about confidentiality ought to be obvious,” a Benghazi Committee spokesperson told NBC News’ Kristen Welker Monday. “The Committee will vigorously defend itself against these and any other false claims and has nothing further to add at this time.”
However a report from the New York Times seems to back up the investigator, and the earlier comments of Kevin McCarthy quite nicely:
Now, 17 months later — longer than the Watergate investigation lasted — interviews with current and former committee staff members as well as internal committee documents reviewed by The New York Times show the extent to which the focus of the committee’s work has shifted from the circumstances surrounding the Benghazi attack to the politically charged issue of Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
A committee with a stated initial goal of learning more about how four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed in Libya has created a political whirlwind in Washington, affecting not only Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, but now also the race for House speaker. Mrs. Clinton is scheduled to testify in front of the committee on Oct. 22.
The committee has conducted only one of a dozen interviews that Mr. Gowdy said in February he planned to hold with prominent intelligence, Defense Department and White House officials, and it has held none of the nine public hearings — with titles such as “Why Were We in Libya?” — that internal documents show have been proposed.
At the same time, the committee has added at least 18 current and former State Department officials to its roster of witnesses, including three speechwriters and an information technology specialist who maintained Mrs. Clinton’s private email server.
It appears to me as if this whole committee is about to blow apart at the seams, and their partisan agenda has already been revealed for all to see.
I have said it before, and I will say it again, I see no need for Hillary Clinton to lend this witch hunt any credibility by showing up to testify this month.
If she refuses I think the whole thing will be disbanded before November.