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Barbara Comstock for Congress: Clinton scandal sleuth, impeachment advocate to run for House

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A leading nemesis of Bill and Hillary Clinton who probed the blockbuster “Travelgate” and “Filegate” scandals and who advocated impeachment of the president after the Monica Lewinsky scandal announced Tuesday that she plans to run for a House seat in Northern Virginia.

State Del. Barbara Comstock said, "I am running for Congress because I believe my strong record as a common-sense conservative leader is what is needed in Congress.”

Comstock has deep roots in the GOP, having worked at the Justice Department and for former President George W. Bush. She is supported by key conservatives including former Sen. George Allen and Morton Blackwell.

In the mid-1990s, Comstock worked for the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, helping to lead the Travelgate and Filegate investigations as well as reports of campaign finance abuse by the Clintons.

In Travelgate, she and the committee probed allegations that Clinton staffers wrongly accused the White House Travel Office director of theft to clear the way for an Arkansas Clinton crony to run the office. After a federal trial, the director was acquitted.

In Filegate, she and the committee investigated claims that a Clinton aide, urged by the first lady, sought FBI reports on Republicans.

Comstock, 54, later backed the House GOP's impeachment of Clinton in 1998. Prior to the impeachment, she told a group that Clinton would have gotten away with lying about his affair with White House intern Lewinsky had it not been for the discovery of her blue dress, which had his DNA on it.

On Tuesday, she announced plans to run for the seat held by long-serving Republican Rep. Frank Wolf, who she once worked for. She is expected to face a challenge from sometimes controversial state Del. Richard Black.

In announcing her bid, Comstock let it be known that she will challenge President Obama if elected. “Whether it is repealing and replacing Obamacare, promoting policies for a healthier economy or fighting to protect our national security and dedicated military, I will be a tireless advocate for one of the most vibrant and diverse communities in the Commonwealth, and I will demand and work hard for common-sense results,” she said.

In her recent reelection against a tough Democratic foe, Comstock won the Fairfax, Va., district where Terry McAuliffe, the Democrat elected governor, lives.

She also ran 10 points ahead of the losing GOP gubernatorial ticket despite being targeted by unions and anti-gun former New York Gov. Michael Bloomberg. And along the way, she was a top fundraiser, collecting $1.4 million for her delegate race.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.