Thus far, Democrat House Leader Nancy Pelosi has refused to appoint any Democrats to the House select committee on Benghazi as the committee, headed by Rep.Trey Gowdy ( R-SC) begins its work.
The always entertaining former Speaker first demanded that the committee be 'evenly split' between Republicans and Democrats, something she would have rejected outright when she was Speaker after she stopped cackling.Actually no select committee in history has ever been set up in that manner.
Then, she rejected the operating rules of the committee, which would allow Chairman Trey Gowdy to unilaterally issue subpoenas without the approval of the Democrats on the committee and the Republican members to interview witnesses separately.These kinds of rules are by no means unheard of, and are fairly standard.
Considering that Rep. Elijah Cummings (D- MD)is now facing ethics charges over his behavior on Chairman Issa's House Oversight Committee and the fact that deliberations and investigative strategy were leaked from committee meetings to the very people and agencies the committee was supposed to be investigating, such rules make sense unless the idea is simply to obstruct and stonewall.
Among most Democrats, the latest talking point has been to deride the need for 'just another investigation' at all. They make much of the fact that there have been seven investigations, so his must be just another partisan witch hunt. What they're not mentioning is that the White House has repeatedly lied about how the talking points blaming the attack on a spontaneous demonstration and a video were deliberately constructed for partisan political purposes, and about releasing all of the documentation to Congressional committees. Nor do they mention that the Benghazi survivors are still prevented from speaking congress by the Obama Administration and that all of the security videos as well as the telephone recordings and transcripts of conversations between the White House, the consulate and the CIA annex are all still classified and hidden away from congress as well.
Even basic questions about what happened, why the US was unprepared for a terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9/11, and why security assets less than two hours away weren't allowed to intervene to save American lives remain unanswered.Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has never been questioned under oath, and we still have sharply different accounts of what President Obama was doing while all this was going on.
These are the things the select committee is designed to find out once and for all, and it's understandable that 7 Democrats voted along with their Republican colleagues to get to the bottom of it. of course, it's equally understandable why the majority of Democrats want this whitewashed and abandoned.
Meanwhile Speaker John Boehner has already named the Republican members of the committee; Aside from Trey Gowdey, there's Rep.Jim Jordan, Rep. Peter Roskam, Rep. Martha Roby, Rep. Susan Brooks, Rep. Mike Pompeo, and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland.
Gowdey and Brooks are experienced former federal prosecutors, Jordan, Roskam, Roby and Pompeo are all successful attorneys who serve, respectively on the Oversight committee, as Deputy Whip and on the House Oversight subcommittee, on the Armed Services Committee, and on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
These are people whom understand law, the rules of evidence and how process works.There's no doubt in my mind that they're going to make every effort to uncover the truth no matter where it leads.
Pelosi and the House Democrats have a choice to make. They can stay removed, continue to snipe from the outside and hope that the committee doesn't uncover anything awkward. They can have a change of heasrt and try to appoint the most knowledgeable and able people they can to work on getting to the bottom of this, as Boehner appears to have done. Or, they can participate, but appoint partisan hacks to the committee in an effort to sabotage things and keep what happened that night in Benghazi a question mark.
I'm guessing they pick number three.