“Republicans have turned it all into one big hilarious partisan joke,” she said on her show.
Maddow compared the ongoing investigation into the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, to probes of other similar events, such as the 1983 attack on a U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. She argued that previous investigations were not overtly driven by partisanship the way the Benghazi investigation has been.
“We have never had a congressional partisan carnival like this over an attack on a U.S. outpost overseas -- never,” she said. “In the history of Beirut, of Khobar Towers, of the East Africa embassy bombings, of the 9/11 commission, even, of the attack on the USS Cole, on even the intelligence leading up to the Iraq war.”
Maddow noted that following the Beirut attack, Congress and then-President Ronald Reagan passed legislation that would require the secretary of state to create an "Accountability Review Board" after similar events, to assess what went wrong and what needed to be fixed.
Clinton appointed an ARB after the Benghazi attacks, and Maddow pointed out that the board didn't go easy on the secretary of state.
"That Accountability Review Board came back with, frankly, harsh criticisms for the Obama administration, and the State Department specifically, in terms of what went wrong and why in Benghazi," Maddow said.
Rather than accept the ARB's evaluation, she continued, Republicans on the Benghazi committee dragged out the investigation for partisan reasons. At Thursday's committee hearing, lawmakers even derided the board because Clinton appointed its members -- even though that's what she was required to do by law.
“If God loves America," Maddow said, "we will find out soon that somewhere there is a reset button that we can hit after this is over to erase this as a potential precedent for our country moving forward.”
Watch the clip from "The Rachel Maddow Show" above.