Pelosi names Democrats to House panel on Benghazi

WASHINGTON Wed May 21, 2014 3:22pm EDT

Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi speaks about Benghazi as Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) listens during a press conference in the Capitol in Washington May 21, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi speaks about Benghazi as Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) listens during a press conference in the Capitol in Washington May 21, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday named the five members of her party who will serve on a special panel investigating the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

After weeks of deliberating over whether to participate in a Republican-led panel that Democrats predict will be partisan, Pelosi announced the members who will round out the committee. House Speaker John Boehner already has appointed the seven Republican members.

Referring to the special investigating committee, which will look into the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attack that has been probed by other House panels, Pelosi said, "It is not necessary to put the families (of those killed) or our country through this partisan exercise once again."

In remarks to reporters, she said Democrats will participate "to try to bring some openness and transparency" to the panel's work.

The following Democratic representatives will be members of the panel:

Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the senior Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee; Adam Smith of Washington, the senior Democrat on House Armed Services; Adam Schiff, a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Linda Sanchez of California, an Ethics Committee member; and Tammy Duckworth, of Illinois, who serves on the Armed Services Committee and is an Iraq war veteran.

Pelosi also said that negotiations with Boehner on the operation of the special congressional panel had not produced any agreement.

Those discussions centered on whether Democratic members of the panel would have input on witnesses that would be subpoenaed and whether Democrats could participate in interviewing witnesses prior to hearings.

The attacks led to the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. House Republicans have launched multiple investigations into the Obama administration's handling of embassy security in the run-up to the attack and the steps it took in the aftermath.

Democrats have accused Republicans of creating the panel for political purposes, including keeping the spotlight on Hillary Clinton, who was Obama's secretary of state at the time of the Benghazi violence. Clinton, a Democrat, is weighing a 2016 run for president.

Boehner has insisted that the special committee will conduct a "serious, fact-based inquiry."

The special committee will be chaired by Republican Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina.

(Editing by Susan Heavey and Nick Zieminski)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (18)
hi53241 wrote:
“Those discussions are thought to center on whether Democratic members of the panel will be able to call witnesses to testify and interview witnesses prior to hearings.”

Gowdy has already said he can’t “guarantee” that.

Don’t give any legitimacy to this kangaroo court. Don’t participate, make the partisan witchhunt obvious rather than lend it legitimacy.

May 21, 2014 12:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
CSParty wrote:
Pelosi talks a lot, but never produces results except maybe her “Sanctuary City”. Kind of like when she said she would “drain the swamp” and simply added more mud to it. She’s useless and washed up.

May 21, 2014 12:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
hi53241 wrote:
“Don’t give any legitimacy to this kangaroo court. Don’t participate, make the partisan witchhunt obvious rather than lend it legitimacy.”

On one hand, I agree. Appointing democrats to seriously participate in the panel will only give legitimacy to this farcical investigation – this kangaroo court of theirs.

No one believes in any of the crap these republicans are selling except them (and I’m not even sure if they believe it or are just resorting to this out of desperation because attacking Obamacare is no longer the quick ticket to victory they thought it would be). So taking it seriously is completely unnecessary. We’ve already been through these exercises countless time before, there’s nothing new to expose at this point.

However, there has been talk of appointing Alan Grayson as the lone democrat on the panel. In terms of giving it legitimacy, appointing just one is next to nothing, and this particular one certainly would not be taking it seriously. Alan Grayson is smart enough to spearhead their hypocrisy every time it comes up, and is one of the few democrats with the cajones to rip into their little witch-hunt on the national stage. He would absolutely LAMBASTE them and it would be hysterical to watch. I would actually turn on C-SPAN to watch that.

May 21, 2014 12:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.