Here Are the Five Democrats Named to the Benghazi Select Committee

They’re going to participate after all.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 23: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) answers questions during a press conference October 23, 2013 in Washington, DC. Pelosi answered questions on the problems surrounding the website for the Affordable Care Act during her remarks. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
National Journal
Elahe Izadi Sarah Mimms
May 21, 2014, 9:47 a.m.

After weeks of in­tern­al de­bate, House Demo­crats will join the se­lect com­mit­tee to in­vest­ig­ate the Benghazi at­tack after all and send a full del­eg­a­tion of five mem­bers, Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi an­nounced Wed­nes­day.

Over­sight Com­mit­tee rank­ing mem­ber Eli­jah Cum­mings, who has served as the Demo­crat­ic coun­ter­weight to Chair­man Dar­rell Issa’s Benghazi hear­ings, will serve as the rank­ing mem­ber.

The oth­er mem­bers of the com­mit­tee are:

  • Adam Schiff, D-Cal­if., who serves on the In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee
  • Adam Smith, D-Wash., who is the rank­ing mem­ber on the Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee
  • Linda Sanc­hez, D-Cal­if., who serves on the Ways and Means Com­mit­tee’s Over­sight Sub­com­mit­tee 
  • Tammy Duck­worth, D-Ill., who serves on the Armed Ser­vices and Over­sight com­mit­tees and is also an Ir­aq War vet­er­an

The de­cision comes after days of ne­go­ti­ations with Re­pub­lic­an lead­er­ship, in which Demo­crats had hoped to con­vince the ma­jor­ity to grant them equal rep­res­ent­a­tion on the pan­el as well as great­er over­sight over sub­poen­as and testi­mony.

Pelosi and House Speak­er John Boehner met on Tues­day to dis­cuss po­ten­tial changes to the com­mit­tee’s op­er­a­tions, and they spoke again by phone on Wed­nes­day. But Pelosi told re­port­ers Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon that Re­pub­lic­ans nev­er budged on those is­sues.

“We have offered as­sur­ances on com­mit­tee pro­ced­ures, but no sub­stant­ive changes that could hurt the in­vest­ig­a­tion,” a House GOP lead­er­ship aide said.

Al­though many top Demo­crats had ar­gued against ap­point­ing their mem­bers to the se­lect com­mit­tee — par­tic­u­larly if they did not re­ceive con­ces­sions from Re­pub­lic­ans — Pelosi ar­gued that the lack of an agree­ment over com­mit­tee rules made it even more im­port­ant for Demo­crats to en­gage in the pro­cess.

“That is all the more reas­on for Demo­crats to par­ti­cip­ate in the com­mit­tee, to be there to fight for a fair hear­ing and pro­cess, to try to bring some open­ness and trans­par­ency to what’s go­ing on,” she said. “If the pro­cess had ap­peared to be fair, more trans­par­ent, and the rest, there would be more trust in it.”

Schiff, who had pre­vi­ously re­ferred to the se­lect com­mit­tee as a “co­lossal waste of time” on Fox News Sunday, agreed to rep­res­ent Demo­crats on the pan­el as well. He agreed with Pelosi’s line of think­ing, ar­guing that he and his fel­low Demo­crats will be re­spons­ible for point­ing to the truth and “to make sure that this does not be­come a se­lect com­mit­tee on talk­ing points.”

Boehner spokes­man Mi­chael Steel said, “The Amer­ic­an people de­serve the truth, and we are glad House Demo­crats have chosen to par­ti­cip­ate in this ser­i­ous, sub­stant­ive in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the tra­gic events of Sept. 11, 2012.”

This story has been up­dated with more in­form­a­tion.

{{ BIZOBJ (video: 4960) }}

What We're Following See More »
Trump Still Struggling for Endorsements
1 hours ago
Deal Struck to Confirm Ambassador to Mexico
3 hours ago

"The United States is finally about to get an ambassador to Mexico. Senate Republicans who have been negotiating a way to confirm Roberta Jacobson as the nation’s top diplomat to Mexico have reached the contours of an agreement that would allow Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)—Jacobson’s chief obstacle—to secure renewed sanctions against Venezuela in exchange for lifting his objections."

How Much Is Cleveland Paying for ‘Protest Insurance’ for the GOP Convention?
3 hours ago

Ten million dollars, plus another $1.5 million for the broker who will "develop and obtain" the policy. The concern: mass protests could lead to mass arrests, which could then lead to civil rights claims against the city.

Sanders Could Force Changes to Nominating Process
3 hours ago

There are not "ongoing, direct conversations between" the Bernie Sanders camp and the Hillary Clinton camp regarding "the platform or rules changes," but Sanders "is already making his opening arguments" about those issues on the stump. Sanders is putting "complaints about closed primaries" atop his stump speeches lately, and figures to start a "conversation about the role of superdelegates in the nominating process." He said, “Our goal, whether we win or we do not win, is to transform the Democratic Party."

Boehner Says He Wouldn’t Vote for Cruz
5 hours ago

Well, this is unsubtle. Former Speaker John Boehner called Ted Cruz "lucifer in the flesh," adding that he "never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life." Boehner has endorsed John Kasich, but he said he'd vote for Donald Trump over Cruz. He also praised Bernie Sanders, calling him the most honest politician in the race, and predicted that Joe Biden may yet have a role to play in the Democratic contest, especially if Hillary Clinton runs into legal trouble over her emails.