At the Plum Line, Paul Waldman offers as good a script as any I’ve seen for how the latest House Benghazi! “investigation” will go down:

1) The first day of hearings will get blanket coverage in the media. The members will each get a chance to make their opening statements, which will leave the walls of the hearing room quivering under the power of all the thunderous outrage the Republicans can muster.

2) At some point, Hillary Clinton will testify. The media will rub their hands together in anticipation of the confrontation, the smack-down, the Capitol Hill cage match! Republican members will preen for the cameras, and Clinton will, most likely, parry all their assaults. It’ll be good television, but no new information will be revealed.

3) After that, the media will quickly lose interest


4)Republicans will then complain that the liberal media are covering up the scandal.

In other words, it will go more or less like the earlier House committee hoedowns.

The question I keep wondering about is timing. Trey Gowdy has already indicated he’s not sure he can wrap things up by the end of this Congress. If Republicans retake the Senate, they’ll have their first opportunity in that chamber to put on their own Benghazi! show trial. Given the natural desire of GOPers everywhere to place these sessions in as close a proximity as possible to a Hillary Clinton presidential run, you’d have to guess Gowdy will slow-walk his hearings once they’ve served the initial purpose of firing up The Troops for the midterms. So this particular play will probably have an intermission.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.