Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) completely sabotaged the House Republican Benghazi investigation today by discussing a White House memo that undermines a big part of the Republican conspiracy theory.
According to ABC News:
A still-classified State Department e-mail says that one of the first responses from the White House to the Benghazi attack was to contact YouTube to warn of the “ramifications” of allowing the posting of an anti-Islamic video, according to Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The memo suggests that even as the attack was still underway — and before the CIA began the process of compiling talking points on its analysis of what happened — the White House believed it was in retaliation for a controversial video.
The reason why this memo is important is because the foundation of the Republican claims of a Benghazi cover-up is based on the idea that the White House intentionally lied and blamed a YouTube video for the attack.
White House officials are elated that Issa opened his mouth because the memo confirms what the administration has been saying all along. There is no conspiracy or cover-up. The intelligence community was concerned about the video even while the attack was still going on.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, who is chairing the Benghazi Select Committee, has been making the YouTube video/cover-up the justification for his investigation, but the memo that Issa discussed today proves that the YouTube video was not a fabricated story.
Issa views the memo as grounds for another conspiracy theory. He told Jon Karl of ABC News, “The e-mail shows the White House had hurried to settle on a false narrative — one at odds with the conclusions reached by those on the ground — before Americans were even out of harm’s way or the intelligence community had made an impartial examination of available evidence.”
Rep. Issa’s point makes no sense. How could the White House know that the YouTube video was a false narrative if the attack was still going on? The answer is that they couldn’t have known.
The big Republican push on Benghazi is falling apart fast. Benghazi was supposed to be the issue that made voters forget that Republicans were completely wrong about Obamacare. Benghazi was going to bring Obama down, and make Mitch McConnell the Senate majority leader. Instead of doing any of that, their efforts to make Benghazi into a national story have backfired.
The distraction isn’t working, and now Darrell Issa has under-mined the whole supposed basis for the investigation.