According to the New York Times, a former GOP staffer for the House Select Committee on Benghazi is claiming that was illegally fired because he chose not to focus on Hillary Clinton.
Bradley Podliska, who served as an investigator for 10 months, said that he plans to file a federal lawsuit against the committee in November for wrongful termination.
Speaking to CNN, Podliska said that he was fired because he didn’t like the “partisan investigation” of committee, especially after it was revealed that Clinton exclusively used a private email account to communicate during her stint as Secretary of State. Podliska added that his taking a leave from the committee to fulfill his active duty obligations as an Air Force reserve major coincided with his firing, which if true would be illegal.
From Talking Points Memo:
The reports differed as to exactly when Podliska was terminated. The New York Times reported he was terminated after returning from active duty in late March; CNN reported that he was fired in late June.
In a statement to the Times, the select committee denied Podliska’s allegations and countered that the staffer was fired in part because “he himself manifested improper partiality and animus in his investigative work,” including toward Clinton.
“The committee vigorously denies all of his allegations,” the statement read. “Moreover, once legally permitted to do [sic], the committee stands ready to prove his termination was legal, justified and warranted — on multiple levels.”
The statement went on to claim that Podliska received “repeated counseling for performance and lack of judgment.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) caused a stir last week when he credited the select committee with dragging down Clinton’s poll numbers. His Republican colleagues denounced those comments and McCarthy went on to drop out of the running for House speaker on Thursday.
Democrats had seized on McCarthy’s “gaffe” as evidence that the select committee was created by Republicans to disrupt Clinton’s presidential bid and quickly cited Podliska’s allegations as further proof of that theory.
“What happened was wrong,” Podliska, who is a conservative Republican, told CNN.
“I’m scared. I’m nervous. I know that this is, you know, I’m going up against powerful people in Washington,” he added. “But at the end of the day I need to live with myself. I told my wife, I will view myself as a coward if I don’t do the right thing here.”
[Raw Story] Featured image: Bradley Podliska via the New York Times