Former investigator: Benghazi committee wanted to bring down Clinton

A former investigator for the House Select Committee on Benghazi, who was fired from that post, claims the panel was formed for the sole purpose of tarnishing Hillary Clinton
A former investigator for the House Select Co... 02:34

A new controversy has emerged surrounding the House Benghazi Committee, the panel set up to investigate the terror attacks in Libya that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Committee investigator Bradley Podliska says he was fired because he refused to focus solely on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her emails.

House Benghazi Committee investigator Bradley Podliska

"This has become a partisan investigation. I honestly do not believe this investigation was set up to go after Hillary. I believe it shifted that way," Podliska said.

Podliska's claims are another blow to the House Benghazi investigation, but Republicans say he's lying.

GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, the committee chairman, said Podliska was fired "in part, because he himself manifested improper partiality" against Clinton.

Gowdy also said Podliska's accusations only came after he "demanded money from the committee" in mediation, which the committee "refused to pay."

Democrats say Podliska's claims square with their view that the committee's chief goal is to destroy the likely Democratic nominee for president. They believe House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy all but confirmed their view when he made this statement earlier this month:

"Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today?"

Internal documents obtained by CBS News show that the committee originally planned to hold nine hearings this year to hear from eyewitnesses, intelligence officials, and the secretary of defense.

None of those hearings has taken place, and only one is scheduled for later this month -- with Clinton as the lone witness.

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President Obama argued the scrutiny of Clinton's private server has been overblown on "60 Minutes."

"You know, she made a mistake. She has acknowledged it. I do think that the way it's been ginned up is in part because of politics."

Republicans say they had to scrap some of the planned hearings because they've had difficulty procuring some of the relevant documents from the administration, and that they always intended to do most of their work behind closed doors.

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    Nancy Cordes is CBS News' chief White House correspondent.