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)
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Sarah Mimms and Elahe Izadi
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.


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