The ex-Benghazi Committee investigator who claimed he was fired because he wouldn’t focus his work on Hillary Clinton has dropped mention of the former secretary of state in his lawsuit against the panel.
Air Force Reserve Maj. Bradley Podliska rests his case against the Select Committee on Benghazi on the claim he was fired because he took leave for active-duty military service. Podliska also claims committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and his staff defamed him after he announced plans to file suit last fall. The complaint no longer mentions Clinton in describing the committee’s investigation or Podliska’s work.
It is unclear whether Podliska still believes his approach toward the investigation contributed to his firing. A spokesman for Gowdy declined to comment, as did a lawyer for Podliska.
“We are now in active litigation and like the committee, we will not be commenting on pending motions,” said Peter Romer-Friedman of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. “We look forward to the truth coming out in a court of law.”
Podliska’s claim that the Benghazi committee was specifically targeting Clinton added to controversy surrounding the panel’s work last fall.
Critics see Gowdy’s team as a partisan operation focused on hampering Clinton’s chances in the 2016 presidential race. Supporters say the investigation is neutral and fact-based, and that Democrats are seeking to obstruct it with their criticism.
Lawyers for the committee have sought to dismiss the suit on the grounds that Podliska’s firing was a legislative act and thus protected from legal inquiry under the Constitution’s speech and debate clause. Asked whether dropping mention of Clinton was part of a legal strategy in the case, Romer-Friedman declined to comment.