The House Benghazi Committee is firing back at the spurned former staffer who says he was fired from the investigative body because he refused to target Hillary Clinton.
Actually, the committee says the staffer was fired in part because he would have undermined the committee’s factual investigation with a bizarre project attacking Clinton, and for other conduct violations. And now the committee is accusing the staffer of trying to blackmail them for money with falsehoods emanating from his “wild imagination.”
Major Bradley Podliska conducted an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, to be aired Sunday morning, in which he claimed that he was fired from his investigative role on the Republican-majority side of the Benghazi committee because he had too many scruples to participate in a “partisan investigation” into Clinton’s work at the State Department.
Podliska said that a superior told him he was fired for using work email for social purposes, failing to secure classified information, and giving an intern an “unauthorized assignment” to do. Podliska denied to CNN that he handled classified information on a system that was not classified, and also denied the “unauthorized assignment” bit. But the committee says otherwise.
Podliska has been developing imaginative stories for his dismissal ever since he was fired, including in confidential mediation sessions.
“The former employee in question was terminated for cause and his complaint is currently in mediation, which by law is required to be kept confidential by both sides,” a Benghazi committee spokesperson told Breitbart News. “The former employee has violated this confidentiality requirement in a public way, forcing the Committee to respond with the following limited statement.”
The committee’s statement, provided to Breitbart News, makes clear that Podliska was actually fired in part for attacking Hillary Clinton in an arbitrary way unrelated to the Benghazi investigation, which would have undermined the committee’s actual investigative work.
“One reason, among others, for which the employee was terminated was his repeated efforts, of his own volition, to develop and direct Committee resources to a PowerPoint ‘hit piece’ on members of the Obama Administration – including Secretary Clinton – that bore no relationship whatsoever to the Committee’s current investigative tone, focus or investigative plan,” according to the committee’s statement.
“Thus, directly contrary to his brand new assertion, the employee actually was terminated, in part, because he himself manifested improper partiality and animus in his investigative work,” the statement continues. “The Committee vigorously denies all of his allegations. Moreover, once legally permitted to do, the Committee stands ready to prove his termination was legal, justified, and warranted – on multiple levels.”
But Podliska changed his story after he was dismissed, presumably to get media attention, according to the committee:
We will also further note the employee has never previously raised any allegation with respect to his work involving Secretary Clinton (other than that he was not allowed to do it) throughout: 1) the repeated counseling for performance and lack of judgment he received while an employee; 2) when he was notified of his termination for those reasons; 3) via his first lawyer (who withdrew from representing him); and 4) at any time following via his new lawyers. His assertions today related to Secretary Clinton are brand new and transparently false.
“However, the former employee has continued to imagine a variety of new, outlandish, never previously mentioned, allegations since his departure – including that his supervisors, including the former Judge Advocate General of the United States Army (a highly decorated retired General) has somehow manifested an anti-military animus toward him,” the committee added.
We are confident that the facts and evidence give no support to the wild imagination fueling these and any future allegations, and the Committee will vigorously defend itself against such allegations. The Committee will not be blackmailed into a monetary settlement for a false allegation made by a properly terminated former employee.
Podliska served in the Air Force in Iraq and worked as a Defense Department analyst before his gig on the Benghazi Committee. He wrote the 2010 book “Acting Alone: A Scientific Study of American Hegemony and Unilateral Use-of-Force Decision Making.”