WASHINGTON—Rep. Trey Gowdy is firing back at Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings’s effort to discredit his work on the House Benghazi Committee ahead of Hillary Clinton’s testimony Thursday.
Elijah Cummings, the leading Democrat on Gowdy’s committee, accused Gowdy Sunday of lying about the fact that Clinton received the classified name of a CIA informant on her non-secure private email server. Cummings said, in a letter, that the informant’s name was not classified when Clinton received it, and he accused Gowdy of redacting the informant’s name when he released some emails to make it look like the name was classified.
Gowdy penned a letter late Sunday accusing Cummings of pushing falsehoods. Gowdy said that the name was already redacted when he got the emails, courtesy of someone in the “Executive Branch.” He did not redact the name himself. And Gowdy also said that the email does, in fact, contain classified information.
“Contrary to your assertion, the CIA did not inform the Committee that anything about the facts stated in the October 7 letter ‘[was] wrong.’ As usual, I would ask you to completely and accurately relate the facts rather than attempt to create an impression that is misleading based on an incomplete and selective recitation of the facts,” Gowdy wrote to Cummings.
“In fact, my understanding is the CIA advised the Committee in a very brief email late Saturday night that it had reviewed the material in question and asked for no material to be redacted,” Gowdy added. “In fact, the name of the alleged source was redacted from the material cleared for public release by someone in the Executive Branch – the fact that the CIA says it didn’t do it does not mean the material was not sensitive or classified. And in fact, additional information remains in the document that ordinarily would be considered highly sensitive.”
“I also note the fact you did not quote the material in question in your letter, suggesting you yourself have reason to believe that it should not be publicly disclosed for some proper reason.”
Cummings, who previously battled Rep. Darrell Issa on behalf of the Obama administration during the House Oversight Committee’s probe of the IRS targeting scandal, is taking center stage in the final Democratic push to discredit Gowdy’s committee.
Breitbart News reported that a fired Benghazi Committee staffer was making up stories when he attacked the Committee in the press, according to the Committee’s version of events. Additionally, Republican Rep. Richard Hanna’s criticism of the committee was meant to gain Democratic support for himself, according to Hanna’s New York political rival.