May 8 - The Republican-run U.S. House of Representatives voted along party lines to set up a committee to investigate the 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
The Republican-run U.S. House of Representatives voted along party lines on Thursday (May 8) to set up a committee to investigate the 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Unhappy Democrats were considering boycotting the panel.
The House voted 232-186 to set up a 12-member special investigative committee. It is expected to be chaired by South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy and include seven Republicans and five Democrats.
Democrats had sought an evenly divided panel, but Republicans prevailed with the argument that they should have a majority on the committee because they were elected to majority status in the House.
Armed militants attacked U.S. diplomatic posts in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, killing U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Republicans accuse the administration of doing too little to repulse the attacks and later creating a smokescreen around the events to protect President Barack Obama's image as tough on terrorism and help boost his re-election chances in November 2012.
Although there have been numerous investigations by congressional committees and a State Department "Accountability Review Board," Republicans say the Obama administration has not provided all the relevant information about the reasons for the attacks and how the administration responded to them.
"This doesn't need to be, shouldn't be and will not be a partisan process. Four Americans died at the hands of terrorists in a well-coordinated assault, and we will not take any shortcuts to the truth, accountability or justice," House Speaker John Boehner told lawmakers before Thursday's vote. "We owe it to future generations to make the right choice. So, I ask all of the members of this body to reflect on this matter and ask you to support this resolution," he added.
Democrats say Republicans are continuing to focus on the Benghazi attacks for political reasons, especially to harm the reputation of Hillary Clinton, a potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate who was secretary of state at the time of the Benghazi attacks.