Joy Reid dropped a little Benghazi lying leaker bomb yesterday on the Reid Report blog. A trusted source of hers told her to look at the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. One person who stood out to her was Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who was on Morning Joe on May 9th, the day before the now debunked Benghazi email bombshell, claiming that there were “glaring omissions” in what was given to the intelligence committee, but that he couldn’t talk about it yet.
Senator Coburn appears to be referencing the email that was edited and shopped by “Republicans on Capitol Hill” to media outlets, and picked up by the gullible rube Jonathan Karl at ABC, as well as repeated by The Weekly Standard and a CBS reporter. This suggests that he saw the edited version of the email that was leaked by Republicans.
The Reid Report detailed on Saturday:
A very trusted source of mine gave me a cryptic piece of advice yesterday, which was to take a look at the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. I didn’t know quite what to make of it at the time, but tonight it occurred to me: could someone on that committee also have been on the Select Committee on Intelligence, which is the one that got the email briefing in February?
Here’s the Republican membership of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (the Committee is chaired by Democrat Thom Carper of Delaware):
• Tom Coburn, (OK) Ranking Member
• John McCain (AZ)
• Ron Johnson (WI)
• Rob Portman (OH)
• Rand Paul (KY)
• Mike Enzi (WY)
• Kelly Ayotte (NH)
Pretty juicy list! Note how stacked the minority side of the committee is with presidential aspirants, potential aspirants, a former aspirant, and some of the most hardcore tea party Senators, including some, like Rand Paul, John McCain and Kelly Ayotte, who have gone after, first Susan Rice, and then Hillary Clinton guns blazing on Benghazi. But only one of those Senators ALSO sits on the Select Committee on Intelligence — which is the one that my administration source says got the February briefing”
And that person is Tom Coburn.
Joy Reid points out that “On May 9th — literally the day before Jonathan Karl’s “bombshell” report went live, Coburn appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe” and said that the State Department was going to be in trouble because of “glaring omissions” that he could not discuss yet, but he assured us all would come out eventually.
Episode cued up per Joy Reid to the relevant part:
Full episode from NBC News (their transcript isn’t available):
Sen. Tom Coburn said the State Department was in real trouble due to a “glaring omission”, and that it would “eventually come out” but he “can’t talk about it now”, “I think the State Department has real trouble. Having sat on the intelligence committee and seen the review of emails that went back and forth as they developed the list, there is are glaring problem there that will eventually come out, and I can’t talk about now, but there was an omission that was given to the intelligence committee.”
Do tell, Senator. How did he know about the “glaring omission” in the emails? Someone had to have shown him the Republican version of the emails, since there is no glaring omission in the actual emails. The very next day, Jonathan Karl sold his soul to the devil by publishing his “exclusive” (aka, a lie).
Reid points out that this doesn’t mean the leaker is Coburn or is even from his office, but she’s fairly certain the leaker is high up (most likely a Republican top staffer, unless Republicans are even more suicidal than they currently appear) who leaked the deceptively edited email at the direction of their member.
Coburn, a far right Republican, does sit on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
The Senator, who misses his fair share of votes (“from Jan 2005 to May 2013, Coburn missed 112 of 2,611 roll call votes, which is 4.3%. This is worse than the median of 1.6% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving”), sits on the following committees:
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Ex Officio, Subcommittee on Emergency Management, Intergovernmental Relations, and the District of Columbia
Ex Officio, Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight
Ex Officio, Subcommittee on Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
Ex Officio, Subcommittee on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Member, Subcommittee on Economic Policy
Member, Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development
Member, Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
In January, Senator Coburn appointed Brian E. Treat as his Chief of Staff. Treat has been with him since he was in the House in 1998-2000, and then from 2005 to now. An index of Coburn’s past and present staffers can be found here.
Coburn’s top five donors from 2007- 2012 election were (per Open Secrets):
Club for Growth $63,300 $63,300 $0
Emergent Biosolutions $20,650 $15,650 $5,000
Cummins-American Corp $15,400 $6,400 $9,000
Koch Industries $14,800 $4,800 $10,000
Rooney Holdings $13,500 $13,500 $0
Coburn has said that he will retire in 2016. He is infamous for saying, “It’s just a good thing I can’t pack a gun on the Senate floor.” That was right before he told his constituents that Obama likes the culture of dependency because it worked so well for him as an African American male.
The most interesting thing about this suspicion is that if the leak came from the Senate and not the House, it can be investigated by Democrats who are the hamstrung, beleaguered majority in the Senate. I would have bet on the House being the leak for this reason, but perhaps I’ve underestimated Republican hubris.
Yesterday, Democratic Rep Adam Schiff (D-CA) called for an investigation into how the doctored email ended up in the media’s hands. There’s no way that Darrell Issa would allow an investigation of Republicans in the House. He’s way too invested in abusing his power for partisan gain, especially after the big money told Republicans to stop any legislating and just focus on drumming up Obama scandals.
Karl and ABC brushed this under the rug today, claiming that his story still stood. It most certainly does not. But clearly, they aren’t going to be outing their source and CBS did enough by outing that it was offered to them by Republicans on Capitol Hill. Americans deserve to know who lied to Congress, the public, and the press and why. Remember, “it’s the lie that matters”… and the cover up.
Republicans have been nattering on since September 12 about Benghazi. Now that we have the first piece of evidence that there has been malfeasance and an attempt to mislead the public, albeit by Republicans, suddenly they aren’t interested in wasting time on investigations anymore. File that with the years-stalled WMD investigations.