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Krauthammer: Mike Rogers’ retirement ‘dismaying if you believe in Congress’

Charles Krauthammer called Republican intelligence chairman Mike Rogers’ impending move to talk radio “dismaying if you believe in Congress,” explaining that his resignation from a powerful majority committee illustrates “how the standing of Congress has fallen.

Krauthammer discussed the Michigan congressman’s retirement on a Fox News panel with The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes and USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers. Hayes noted that Rogers’ departure means his committee’s Bengahzi investigation will “probably not” be completed under his watch — and that some Republicans may be relieved (RELATED: Republican Mike Rogers quitting Congress for talk radio).

“He’s been the subject of a lot of criticism back in forth in the House conference meetings — Republican conference meetings,” he explained. “You have some people who are criticizing him on the NSA, criticizing him on Benghazi.”

He explained that many thought he should have been “more aggressive” in investigating the 2012 attack and the Obama administration’s response, while others worried his close ties to the intelligence community and the State Department made him ill-suited to conduct the investigation.

Powers called Rogers “very effective” at his job, adding that she didn’t understand any criticism of Rogers about Benghazi. “They’re verging on doing too many investigations into it, not not enough” she said. “They keep doing the same investigation over and over, hoping to get a different answer from the people they bring before them.”

Krauthammer described Rogers as “very serious, dogged, fair, I think effective . . . The fact that he leaves, the fact that he’s a chairman of a very important committee, he’s obviously a shoe-in for reelection if he wants, he’s in the party that’s going to retain the majority — you understand somebody in the House leaves because they’re in the minority, they’re going to be there forever, you can understand that.”

“It tells you how the standing of Congress has fallen, that he would do that,” he continued. “And he says, you know, there’s a need for a voice out there in radio. I don’t know. I think there are quite a lot of them out there. I’m not sure there’s been a huge gap in the market for yet another one.”

“I’m sure he’ll be effective,” Krauthammer explained. “But it’s an odd and puzzling move, and I think it says something about the decline of Congress.”

The conservative columnist also noted the “rise of anti-interventionist — anti-NSA for example — sentiment in the party . . . [Rogers] is not in that camp. He does defend the intelligence agencies. So I think he’ll have a lot of business in radio fielding the questions from the legions of libertarians.”

“But its dismaying if you believe in Congress,” Krauthammer concluded.

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