Should the NRCC Link Benghazi and Fundraising? Gowdy Says No

The chairman of the select committee to investigate Benghazi said he's not happy with the National Republican Congressional Committee for deploying the scandal in a fundraising pitch.

The NRCC sent out an email to supporters and launched a Benghazi Watchdogs page with links to contribute, sparking criticism from Democrats. Links in the email asking recipients to joint the Benghazi Watchdogs led to a fundraising page.

"I cannot and will not raise money for Benghazi," Gowdy emphatically told CNN. "I also advised my colleagues to follow suit and I think I did so in a pretty unambiguous way."

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee who has been urging his colleagues to boycott the select committee, called the Benghazi panel "a fundraising vehicle for the Republican Party."

"And that, frankly, is really, you know, destructive and yet again partisan exercise that gets us unfortunately farther from a focus on bringing these people to justice, farther from a focus on where are we in terms of protecting our diplomatic facilities around the world," Schiff told CNN. "That is really not what this select committee is interested in. It is really just interested in talking points and trying to embarrass the administration or trying to score political points against Hillary Clinton."

"...The formation of this committee has a lot more to do with Republican fundraising and Republican base motivation than it does in the Rhodes e-mail."

At a news conference today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was asked if the NRCC should link fundraising efforts to the select committee.

"Our focus is on getting the answers to those families who lost their loved ones, period," he replied a total of three times as he was repeatedly asked.

"I had a conversation with the minority leader yesterday and made clear that this is a serious investigation, that we wanted to work together to get to the truth. I think the 7-5 split is eminently fair. Frankly, fairer than her global warming committee that she set up," Boehner added. "...This is a serious effort to get to the truth. And I would hope that my colleagues across the aisle would see it in the same way I do and appoint members to serve."

Gowdy confirmed on Fox last night that he has been getting death threats since being selected by Boehner to lead the committee.

"I was a prosecutor for 16 years. This is not my first death threat. I'm always happy when it doesn't come from my wife, and this one did not," he said. "So I'm going to be fine and it's not going to keep me from doing my job."