After being appointed Wednesday by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to the new select committee on Benghazi, Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings called on lawmakers to act in a “neutral” manner during the committee’s investigation.
“I think as far as this committee is concerned,” Cummings said in a Capitol news conference, “I think we have to go in and be finders of the facts. I think we have to go in neutral. I don’t think we need be making accusations before we get in the room to get the facts.”
Cummings, who has been named the top Democrat of the committee, was directing these comments towards the committee’s Republicans. These GOP lawmakers have spoken critically of the administration’s response to the 2012 attacks, which left four Americans dead including ambassador Chris Stevens.
Yet Cummings himself has made numerous opinionated comments and accusations that back up the Obama administration on Benghazi. Here are some:
Cummings doesn’t think the new special committee is needed – May 21
“I do not believe a Select Committee is called for after eight reports, dozens of witness interviews, and a review of more than 25,000 pages of documents.”
Cummings has accused Republicans of using Benghazi for “political purposes” – May 8
“As family members of Ambassador Stevens have stated, ‘What Chris never would have accepted was the idea that his death would be used for political purposes.’ Unfortunately, that is what House Republicans have been doing for the last year and a half.”
During a previous Benghazi hearing, Cummings explained that: “Death is part of life” – May 8
“As I listen to your testimony I could not help but think of something that I said very recently — two years ago now — in a eulogy for a relative. I said that death is a part of life, so often we have to find a way to make life a part of death.”
Cummings once called a Republican subpoena of Secretary State John Kerry to testify on Benghazi “disrespectful.” – May 2
“These actions are not a responsible approach to congressional oversight, they continue a trend of generating unnecessary conflict for the sake of publicity, and they are shockingly disrespectful to the Secretary of State.”
Cummings denied that the Accountability Review Board report on Benghazi was written to shield Hillary Clinton – September 19, 2013
“I would like to make one final point about the ARB. There have been some extremely serious accusations that the ARB was a ‘whitewash’ and a ‘cover-up,’ that it ‘doesn’t answer any real questions,’ and that its ‘sole function’ was ‘to insulate Hillary Clinton.’ Let me respond as directly as I can. Based on all of the evidence obtained by this Committee, this Benghazi review was one of the most comprehensive ARB reviews ever conducted.”