Prominent Senate Democrats are calling for the dissolution of the House Benghazi committee and for taxpayers to get their money back. Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has called the committee a partisan tool designed to discredit former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Reid aired his anger toward the House Benghazi committee in an Oct. 21 letter addressed to Republican National Committee Chairma Reince Priebus. Other leading Democrats signed the letter, with Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York all lending their signatures, the Huffington Post reports.
The letter reads:
"Over the past several weeks, several House Republicans have made clear what many observers have suspected all along: that the Select Committee has conducted a political inquisition aimed at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. We firmly believe the Committee should be disbanded, and that every penny of taxpayer money that has financed this purely political committee ought to be repaid."
The House Benghazi committee has stretched on for 17 months and has cost taxpayers $4.5 million, according to The Huffington Post.
The credibility of the committee has been damaged since House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy bragged that the investigation had negatively impacted Clinton’s poll numbers for the 2016 presidential election, Fox News reports.
Comments from Republican lawmakers about how the investigation is harming Clinton’s presidential hopes have done so much damage that the committee’s chairman, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina has told them to “shut up,” CNN reports.
Retiring House Speaker John Boehner assembled the committee in May 2014. On Oct. 20, he claimed that the investigation had dragged on for so long because the committee had not been given the information that it had requested, according to Fox News.
“Today, the State Department turned over 1,300 pages of printed documents from Ambassador Stevens' emails,” Boehner told Fox. “Today. They've been stonewalling us now for three years on giving us the documents that we need.”
Clinton appeared before the committee on Oct. 22.