The leading Republican Representative in the Congressional special select committee aimed at probing the Benghazi attacks said on Sunday that defaming Hillary Clinton is not the goal of the committee and that such allegations must stop.

The select committee was established to investigate the September 2012 attacks on U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya and the murders of four American officials including the U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. The attacks happened while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.

According to Reuters, the committee’s chairman, Republican Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina said that the focus of the committee is not Hillary Clinton and her Presidential bid, but rather the investigation of the events that led to the attack, most precisely the security oversight. He stated “She is an important witness but she is one witness.” He also added that he is urging his Republican colleagues to stop talking about the Benghazi committee and stated “I have told my own Republican colleagues and friends ‘Shut up talking about things you don’t know anything about.’ Unless you are on the committee, you have no idea what we have done, why we’ve done it.”

However, Republican Majority Leader in the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy let it slip that the Benghazi committee was specially created to hurt Clinton’s poll numbers and her chances of winning the White House.

According to Reuters, Clinton reacted to McCarthy’s statement and acknowledged it as something that was very well known, that the committee was actually created for political reasons, something that is illegal to do, because of the committee being sponsored by taxpayer money. She stated I think it is pretty clear that whatever they might have thought they were doing they ended up becoming a partisan arm for the Republican National Committee.”

House Representative Elijah Cummings, the leading Democrat on the select committee added that there are strong facts that confirm the political influence of the Republican Party. He said that the chairman Gowdy has deiced to take testimonies from people connected to Clinton while she was at the State Department, as well as her personal aides, such as Huma Abedin, who was interviewed for six hours on Sunday. However, Gowdy has not scheduled any interviews with the CIA director, the Secretary of Defense or the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

According to Reuters, Cummings stated “We still have been zeroed in on Hillary Clinton. There is absolutely no doubt about that, and it is very unfortunate.” He also added that after spending $4.7 million of taxpayer money in 17 months, Republican Gowdy is scheduling another two dozen witnesses in order to finally shift to where they should be investigating, instead of focusing on Clinton.

Clinton’s public testimony in front of the Benghazi special committee is scheduled to take place on Thursday, the 22nd of October.

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