Democrats Divided Over Participation In Benghazi Panel

May 9, 2014

Update at 1:03 p.m. Boehner Names GOP Members

House Speaker John Boehner on Friday named the Republican members of committee that will investigate the 2012 Benghazi attacks.

Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Peter Roskam, R-Ill., Martha Roby, R-Ala., Susan Brooks, R-Ind., Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga.

Boehner named Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., to head the panel on Thursday.

Our original post continues:

House Democrats remained divided Friday over whether to participate in the GOP-led investigation into the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012. The attack killed the U.S. ambassador and three others.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said negotiations were continuing with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, over a Democratic role in the investigation. As we told you yesterday [Thursday], the House voted mostly along party lines to establish a new investigative committee to look into circumstances surrounding the attack. NPR’s Scott Neuman reported:

“Republicans accuse the White House of misleading the public about the nature of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack and stonewalling efforts by Congress to investigate. Democrats see the creation of the new investigative committee as an election-year political ploy to raise money and motivate the party’s base.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Pelosi called the investigation a “political stunt,” adding: “We must have standards.”

The Associated Press reports that Democratic leaders met Friday with rank and file members on a strategy for the investigation. Meanwhile, Boehner named Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., to head the panel. The speaker was expected to name six other Republicans to the committee on Friday.

Democrats were split on whether to take part in the process.

“We don’t want a kangaroo court,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said. “We think that this whole Benghazi hearing is a waste of taxpayer dollars, but if at the very least they’re going to establish a fair process then we could participate, but if it’s going to be a kangaroo court, we can’t.”

But Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said he favored Democratic participation.

“I think the Democrats ought to be there every day, recording why it’s a sham,” he said.

Both their comments were reported by the AP.

Here’s more from the news agency:

“The panel’s investigation means high-profile hearings in the months leading up to the elections, with Republicans grilling current and former Obama administration officials. Certain to be called to testify is former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democrats’ potential 2016 presidential candidate.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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