Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner distanced himself from Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s Benghazi Committee comments, saying in a statement Thursday that the Benghazi investigation has “never been about former Secretary of State Clinton and never will be.”
McCarthy is the odds-on favorite to replace Boehner as speaker when the Ohio Republican leaves Congress at the end of October.
“Four Americans lost their lives in this terrorist attack because they were left without adequate security in one of the most dangerous places in the world. Their loved ones still don’t know the full truth about what happened, and they deserve real answers. All Americans do,” Boehner said.
McCarthy insinuated on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” Tuesday that Hillary Clinton’s drop in the polls was due to the Benghazi investigation Republicans launched last year.
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” McCarthy told Hannity. “But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s un-trustable. But no one would have known that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.”
Democrats have since demanded Boehner disband the Select Committee on Benghazi.
“It is unconscionable that the U.S. House of Representatives is continuing to use millions of dollars in taxpayer funds for political purposes, and we urge you to immediately disband the Select Committee on Benghazi,” Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid, Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, New York Sen. Charles Schumer, Washington Sen. Patty Murray, and California Sen. Barbara Boxer said in a letter to Speaker Boehner.
Republicans criticized McCarthy for seemingly politicizing the investigation.
“That was not the reason we started. We started because there were four dead Americans and we didn’t have answers,” House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz said of McCarthy’s comments, adding that he believes the majority leader should apologize.
“The Select Committee’s very existence is only the result of the Obama administration’s obstruction of routine congressional investigations and its failure to properly comply with subpoenas and document requests,” Boehner said. “The fact remains that Secretary Clinton and the Obama administration have done everything they can to delay, derail, and stop this investigation. They’ve failed to turn over documents in a timely way, and their own actions have needlessly prolonged this panel’s work.”