A Democratic congressman has filed a complaint with the House Office of Congressional Ethics alleging that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Trey Gowdy violated federal law and House rules by using official funds for political expenses through the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
Rep. Alan Grayson claims that a recent Fox News interview with Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, revealed the true purpose of the committee: to damage the presidential campaign of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Mr. Grayson said Wednesday it is “not a step I take lightly — but it’s important that OCE investigate such a blatant misuse of public funds in a blatantly partisan manner.”
Mr. Grayson, one of the House’s most outspoken liberal members who is running for U.S. Senate, said Wednesday the committee calls to mind former Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who famously accused Americans of covert communist sympathies during the 1950s.
“We’ve seen this before,” Mr. Grayson, Florida Democrat, said Wednesday on a conference call. “Another McCarthy in Congress held politically motivated hearings in [an] attempt to smear the good names of loyal Americans. Senator Joe McCarthy’s persecution of those who he accused of communist sympathies also wasted huge amounts of money, and also ruined innocent lives.”
He said attorney Joseph Welch’s “have you no sense of decency?” line to the former senator “ended that shameful period.”
“But today, with the Benghazi commission, we are witnessing the new McCarthyism,” Mr. Grayson said.
Mr. McCarthy, the current House Majority Leader, said in the recent Fox News interview: “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.”
Mr. McCarthy has since said the committee is not political in nature and is focused only on getting to the truth about the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack that claimed the lives of four Americans.
Mr. Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, has defended the work of committee as well and has said that delays have stemmed from the Obama administration’s unwillingness to hand over documents and information in a timely manner.
Mr. Grayson said he was qualified to file such a complaint, as opposed to someone in Democratic leadership, because he’s well-versed about the attack as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
He said the “special committee on anti-Hillary agitprop” should be shut down before Mrs. Clinton’s scheduled testimony on Oct. 22, though he predicted she would do well.
Mr. Grayson said there is no saving the committee at this point.
“It was born in sin, and it remains in sin,” he said.