Some liberals are pushing for no Democrats to serve on the new select committee on Benghazi — but House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday she is open to appointing Democrats to the panel.
“If this review is to be fair, it must be truly bipartisan,” Pelosi said in a statement. “The panel should be equally divided between Democrats and Republicans as is done on the House Ethics Committee. It should require that witnesses are called and interviewed, subpoenas are issued, and information is shared on a bipartisan basis. Only then could it be fair.”
Boehner, who has appointed Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy to serve as chairman, is not expected to appoint as many Democrats as Republicans on the committee. In response to Pelosi’s statement Tuesday, his office pointed out that in 2007, Pelosi thought a 9-6 ratio of Democrats and Republicans was “fair” when she established a Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.
Political maneuvering, therefore, may be at play: Pelosi’s request for an equal number of Democrats and Republicans on the committee may be about giving her an excuse not to appoint any Democrats at all if she doesn’t get her way.
On Monday, the liberal talk radio host Bill Press wrote on Twitter: “Member of Congress told me she will urge Nancy Pelosi to appoint NO Democrats to Special Benghazi Committee. She’s right!”
And appearing on Fox News Sunday, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said of the committee: “I think it’s a colossal waste of time. I don’t think it makes sense, really, for Democrats to participate.”
Pelosi, in her statement Tuesday, criticized the previous House investigations into Benghazi as partsian, while suggesting the attacks have already been adequately investigated.
“There has been a review at the State Department by the Accountability Review Board,” Pelosi said. “There were two bipartisan reviews in the United States Senate, and four partisan reviews in the House of Representatives.”
She also said lawmakers should “act in a manner respectful of their loss.”
“The attacks in Benghazi were a tragedy and we join the families of those who died in continuing to mourn their loss,” she continued. “As we go forward, we should always act in a manner respectful of their loss and to prevent future loss of life.”
Gowdy, on Tuesday, said of the panel he will lead: ‘“Four of our fellow citizens were murdered, and a facility emblematic and representative of our country was attacked and burned on the anniversary of 9-11. Our fellow citizens are full well capable of processing the truth about the attacks and aftermath, and most assuredly entitled to hear it.”