House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday said the special committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attack must be equally split between Republicans and Democrats in order to be fair.
“If this review is to be fair, it must be truly bipartisan,” Pelosi said in a statement released Tuesday morning. “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,” Pelosi said.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) last week said he would call a House vote on a resolution to create a special committee on Benghazi. He made that announcement after the White House released an email that most agree shows the White House actively tried to downplay intelligence showing that terrorists attacked the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, and that it was not a response to an anti-Muslim video.
“These revelations compel the House to take every possible action to ensure the American people have the truth about the terrorist attack on our consulate that killed four of our countrymen,” Boehner said. “In light of these new developments, the House will vote to establish a new select committee to investigate the attack, provide the necessary accountability, and ensure justice is finally served.”
As of Tuesday morning, GOP leaders had not released a text of the resolution they will pass creating the committee. But it seems unlikely that Pelosi will get her wish of a committee that’s equally split between Republicans and Democrats.
Special Committees and other panels created by the House are generally weighted toward the majority party that created them. A House GOP aide noted that in 2007, Pelosi herself created a Select Committee on global warming that was made up of nine Democrats and six Republicans.
Another sign the Committee will likely lean toward the GOP side is a resolution from Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) introduced more than a year ago to create such a committee. Wolf’s language is being seen as a basis for the resolution GOP leaders will ultimately introduce.
In Wolf’s proposal, the committee would be made up of 19 people. Twelve of these would be evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, but then five would be chosen by Boehner, and just two would be added “after consultation with the minority leader.”
Democrats have objected to the GOP’s ongoing efforts to investigate the attack that killed four Americans. On Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney suggested that the White House may not cooperate with the committee.
“What I’m not going to do is speculate about what might come and how it’s going to play out,” Carney said after being asked whether the administration would cooperate. “What I will remind you of is our cooperation of our history on this and many others.”
Pelosi also indicated that Democrats believe the attacks have already been thoroughly reviewed.
“There has been a review at the State Department by the Accountability Review Board,” she said. “There were two bipartisan reviews in the United States Senate, and four partisan reviews in the House of Representatives.”