Alan Grayson files ethics complaint against Rep. McCarthy over Benghazi Committee

Last week, probably-soon-to-be House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R – the McCarthy Era) confirmed what everyone more or less already knew: The House Select Committee on Benghazi is little more than a taxpayer-funded anti-Hillary Clinton opposition research firm. And a poorly-run one at that.

This confirmation presented House Democrats with a number of options. The members of their caucus who sit on their committee could have all resigned from it in protest; instead, they decided to release closed-door testimony from committee hearings that — surprise! — backed up Hillary Clinton’s and the Obama administration’s account of the Benghazi attack. But Alan Grayson is going a step further today, filing a formal ethics complaint against McCarthy and Trey Gowdy, the other Representative in charge of the committee.

As he wrote, in a letter to the House Ethics Committee:

Cong. Alan Grayson (photo by LDL766)

Cong. Alan Grayson (photo by LDL766)

Representative Kevin McCarthy and Trey Gowdy have violated federal law and House rules by using funds appropriated to the Select Committee on Benghazi to oppose the Presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton. On September 29, 2015, Representative McCarthy appeared on The Sean Hannity Show on Fox News, and he stated that the true purpose of the Select Committee on Benghazi was not to investigate the tragic death of four americans killed during the terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Libya, but rather to drive down the poll numbers of Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton…This is a clear and unequivocal misuse of appropriated funds for political purposes, which is prohibited by the regulations of the Committee on House Administration.

Congressman Gowdy evidently has dragged out the work of the Committee so that it would coincide with the Democratic Presidential Primary race. In the meantime, the Committee under Gowdy’s leadership has subpoenaed State Department employees and others close to former Secretary Clinton, in an apparent effort to generate anti-Clinton information and disinformation.

It’s unlikely that any official action will come of Grayson’s complaint, but it does underscore how McCarthy unwittingly brought on a turning point for how the issue is perceived. Now that the committee’s political motive is out in the open, no one in the press is obligated to pretend that it has anything to do with seeking justice for the four Americans who died during the attack. And every time Hillary Clinton is dinged on the issue during the campaign, she’ll have a ready-made counterpunch.

That McCarthy’s fumbled one of the Republicans’ favorite pet issues probably also has something to do with why he hasn’t been able to secure enough votes to secure the Speaker’s gavel yet.

(h/t TalkingPointsMemo)

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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14 Responses to “Alan Grayson files ethics complaint against Rep. McCarthy over Benghazi Committee”

  1. Butch1 says:

    Well, Joyful, he was re-elected for a second term as was Obama. I personally do not care for Clinton. I understand that behind the scenes she is horrible to her Secret Service people and staff. This is word from one Secret Service agent. It’s considered a punishment to have to protect her if you are stuck with that duty.

    But, Bill Clinton wasn’t removed from office and in spite of all that, he was still able to balance a budget. The Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich at the time was diddling his secretary and yet he went after Clinton for adultery. The hypocrites in Congress and Senate abound, don’t they? ;-)

  2. Butch1 says:

    He would be smart to just fade away into the sunset and say no more. He’s said enough to hurt his party for a lifetime with ruining their Benghazi Committee’s chances of milking this any further. Now they’re have to make up some other thing to go after her for.

  3. Butch1 says:

    Nor will he be able to do so; the better minds in his caucus have pulled this man of low intelligence aside and told him he will never be the “man with the gavel” because of his witless stunt on FOX. Being ignorant enough to let them know the whole story like they are a part of the “insider-gang” in closed chambers was this fool’s biggest mistake. He has always thought FOX was their friend so he totally let his guard down in front of the cameras gleefully letting the “cat out of the bag” and telling the world what most people only suspected they were up to.

    Now they knew because of this man’s big mouth. He will be delegated to a back bench slot from here on in because he will never be able to be trusted with any important information. It wouldn’t surprise me to either see him retire or be replaced in the coming future elections. The tea-party will take care of him.

  4. 2karmanot says:


  5. 2karmanot says:

    McCarthy: “I don’t intended harms to the Hillary campaign, The investigation was straightforward to Benghazi and the death of patriots.” ‘the future Speaker’ of the House. Hmmmmm, taking lessons from Dubya?

  6. The_Fixer says:

    Gotta hand it to Grayson, he’s a never-quit guy. Lost an election due to gerrymandering, but got right back in there and won a seat anyway.

    Yeah, he may be a bit incendiary at times, but he’s generally in the right and the people of his district are lucky to have him in office. While this ethics complaint will likely not go far, he is standing up for principle, and that principle is not gaining wealth or setting himself up for a cushy, well-paid job after he’s out of office.

  7. Joyful LaRue says:

    Hilly’s got her lap-dog-hounds doin’ her bidding . . . predicable, since dumb-arse McCarthy made such a stupid statement, off-the-cuff. These guys aren’t SMART enough to be ad-libbing, let alone lead the House of Rep’s.

    Of course, can’t say much for the smarts of Hilly’s impotent, obedient boys led around on her leash . . . barking to her every command. No wonder Billy chooses to spend time at Orgy Island with his ‘companions’.

    You lib’s sure know how to pick ’em.

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  9. LanceThruster says:

    ‘Bout goddamn time.

  10. FLL says:

    Your comment is dead on target.

  11. Indigo says:

    Pushing things into the media is one of Grayson’s strengths.

  12. Naja pallida says:

    There needs to be some kind of specific procedure for these kind of investigative committees. ie, they’re automatically dissolved if they don’t come up with something concrete to justify their existence within a certain, very concise, amount of time. The Republicans have basically turned them into open-ended witch hunts, that allow them the authority to push around anyone they want, indefinitely. Now they want one on Planned Parenthood, despite every single state that has investigated the issue has found ZERO wrongdoing.

  13. Doug105 says:

    Still long overdue, there have been too many fake hearings at cost to the taxpayers over nothing but politics, needs to be a way to make them pay for it out of their own pockets, and we won’t even go into the waste of time.

  14. Naja pallida says:

    Gowdy is on the ethics committee. And Charlie Dent, the chair of the ethics committee, has already come out in open support of McCarthy for Speaker. This complaint will go absolutely nowhere. Their only option is to keep pushing it in the media.

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