Democrats to join Benghazi select committee
May 21st, 2014
01:57 PM ET
8 years ago

Democrats to join Benghazi select committee

(CNN) - Democrats will participate in the Republican-led House Select Committee investigation of the deadly Benghazi terror attack.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said she would name five lawmakers to the 12-member panel looking into the 2012 armed assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound in eastern Libya.

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The attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans has become a partisan flashpoint around the Obama administration's conduct of foreign policy.

Republicans have sharply criticized his administration's handling of the matter from security preparations beforehand, to its response during the attack, and its slow-to-evolve public explanation after-the-fact.

They have zeroed-in on the State Department, especially Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time and is considering a run for president in 2016.

Pelosi said her caucus was divided on whether to participate, but explained that Democrats concluded in the end they needed to be at the table to provide balance.

She also stressed that protecting Clinton politically was not part of the calculus.

"We don't think that Secretary Hillary Clinton or Secretary (of State) John Kerry or the others need our help in the room," Pelosi said.

Select Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina wants to call Clinton, former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, and Cheryl Mills, who was Clinton's chief of staff at the time, to testify.

Democrats charged that the decision by House Speaker John Boehner to pursue a new investigation was overly partisan and unnecessary, considering the multiple congressional investigations of the matter that have taken place.

But Boehner said the decision to launch a new investigation follows the disclosure of information recently that Republicans say supports their contention the White House politicized its public response to the armed assault.

Democrats have been pressing for a greater role in how the committee operates, especially around subpoenas.

A senior GOP aide told CNN that "we have offered assurances on committee procedures, but no substantive changes that could hurt the investigation."

Pelosi told reporters that she didn't reach a deal with Boehner to prevent what she called the "unacceptable and repeated abuses" that occurred under the investigation led by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa.

The following Democrats will serve on the panel: Reps. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, Adam Smith of Washington, Adam Schiff and Linda Sanchez of California, and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois.

Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said he was "highly skeptical" of GOP motivations. He took a jab at the Republicans tapped by Boehner, saying, "they are very lacking in experience on national security or foreign policy matters for the most part."

Cummings, who clashed often with Issa on the Oversight panel, said Gowdy told him that he was "hopeful that we would be able to have a situation where there would be fairness."

A Gowdy aide said Republicans would meet on Thursday to discuss organizational and staffing issues involving their side of the committee.

Other Republicans on the panel include Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Susan Brooks of Indiana, Mike Pompeo of Kansas, Martha Roby of Alabama, Peter Roskam of Illinois and Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia.

Filed under: House Democrats • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. sonny chapman

    This will be the EIGHTH Hearing on Benghazi. How many Hearings did we have on the REAL 9-11 Attack ? How many did we have on the Iraq/WMD SNAFU ? Which of these events should we try to learn a lesson ?

    May 21, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Name. willard

    I am belived that demorcat are hide lied story what happened about benghiziana but amercian will not trust to demorcratic right so people are keep out of demorcratic

    May 21, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says she will appoint members to the House select committee on the deadly 2012 Benghazi terror attack. The panel will be comprised of seven Republicans and five Democrats.
    Good. It would be most short-sighted to not participate on the new committee. If they haven't come up with a name for the select committee, then I would like to suggest "House Committee on Un-American Activities", or HUAC for short. It would be pronounced like this "The Whack Committee."

    May 21, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Maybe some new info will come out....

    And maybe I'll wake up a melanin challenged male tomorrow....😎


    May 21, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. tomasseffect

    There's an old saying when describing Democrats.....

    What's the difference between a liberal and a puppy? The puppy grows up and stops whining.

    May 21, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. tomasseffect

    There's an old saying when describing the Democrats....

    What's the difference between a liberal and a puppy? A puppy grows up and stops whining.

    May 21, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    What a waste of time and money. Can we have Issa flip the bill for all the taxpayer money he's wasting?

    May 21, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. vikingwoman

    Speaking of whining; 8 hearings on Benghazi & counting...!!

    May 21, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. len

    Bush/Cheney are war criminals......Where those hearings? 5 thousand Americans dead, 100, 000 Iraqi civilians dead, thousands of American soldiers severely injured.
    GOP are hypocrits!

    May 21, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. Greg In Arkansas

    Finally, the GOP "creates" some jobs....too bad it's only 7 "jobs" for GOP House members that are going to investigate Benghazi.....guess they didn't get the "investigation" right the last 6 times...

    May 21, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Aw come on Viking woman... Didn't you get the memo??? You're not supposed to mention that..... The GOP is full of hypocrisy and mendacity. And the MSM carries their water for them day in and day out.

    May 21, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  12. mike

    See republicans are so inept it takes them multiple times to investigate the same evidence over and over again. There is nothing immoral about being mentally challenged, they were born that way.

    May 21, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Honestly, why won't the Democrats just admit that they lied already. Defending these manipulative abusers of good intention is getting exhausting. Vote Republican 2014 2016

    May 21, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. Txsportsman2012

    Well I hope this committee gives us the NEW information they obviously have uncovered on the FIRST DAY! But if this is just a GOP fundraising exercise – I dare say the American voters will not be very forgiving of the GOP show this November.

    May 21, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. ProudDem

    The only good thing I can think of about this is that at least I wont have to see that idiot Issa on the news coverage for it.

    May 21, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |

    Of course they are. They want to be able to keep an eye on what's going on.

    May 21, 2014 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I have to laugh when I see the Confederates post under someone else's name... So childish.... Just like them. Anyone with a brain knows Rudy did not post that.

    May 21, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    Ah, yes.

    BENGHAZI (the re-run).

    Also. Too.

    May 21, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  19. Anthony

    Honestly, why won't the Republicans investigate a real scandal, like the VA?

    May 21, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  20. Getoverit

    Good choice. You can't lie if you're not there.

    May 21, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. Joan

    There should be a committee to investigate how much money has been spent and wasted on all of Issa's many committees investigating all of the terrible "scandals" he thinks have been pulled off by the President and his administration. Add this one to the list. How many hours have been spent rehashing all of this when these lawmakers have so much important work to do running the country and trying to solve problems for a change? It is a mockery of the political system. Everyone knows this is all being done because Hilary Clinton was the Secretary of State at the time. Was Condoleeza Rice ever investigated for all of the lies she told with Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld before the Iraq war. The hypocracy is just astounding!

    May 21, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. yourkiddingright

    They just released the emails that proved that they were lying from minute one. If this was released right away Obama would not have been re-elected.

    May 21, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. Joe

    Hey, look! There's a dead horse! Let's kick it! What is this the 8th Benghazi "investigation" that Republicans are wasting time and money on? How many times can they do this before people wake up and realize that we need to vote them out?

    May 21, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. blome Sarah blome

    No matter how hard the GOP/ TP try Obama is a two term president and Hillary C. will be our first woman as president, so put that in your pipe and smoke it republikkklansmen.

    May 21, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  25. smith

    Rudy NYC

    Honestly, why won't the Democrats just admit that they lied already. Defending these manipulative abusers of good intention is getting exhausting. Vote Republican 2014 2016

    I hate when people do this. If you disagree with Rudy or anybody else post a comment about why you disagree.

    May 21, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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