The following Democratic Members will serve on the Select Committee on Benghazi:
• Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member, Committee on Oversight & Government Reform
• Adam Smith (D-WA), Ranking Member, Armed Services Committee
• Adam B. Schiff (D-CA), Committee on Appropriations (Subcommittee on State & Foreign Operations), Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
• Linda T. Sanchez (D-CA), Committee on Ways and Means (Subcommittee on Oversight)
• Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Armed Services Committee, Committee on Oversight & Government Reform
House Democrats on Wednesday appointed five members to a GOP-led special Benghazi investigation committee, ending weeks of speculation about whether they would boycott the panel.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appointed Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform; Washington Rep. Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee; California Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the House Committee on Appropriations; California Rep. Linda Sanchez, a member of the Committee on Ways and Means; and Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
Cummings will be the top Democrat on the committee.
The so-called select committee will investigate the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The committee will have special subpoena and investigative powers.
“I could have argued this either way,” said Pelosi, a California Democrat. “But I do think it’s important to the American people.”
Pelosi also said she agreed to join the investigation to make it a “fair process” and to bring “openness and transparency” to the process.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has named the seven Republicans who will serve on the committee, including Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, the chairman.
Some Democrats have called the new inquiry, after at least eight others, a political sham designed to energize core GOP voters for the midterm elections, embarrass the Obama administration and rough up former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a potential 2016 presidential candidate.
Among Democratic leaders, Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina reiterated his reservations on Tuesday.
The Benghazi attack has become a conservative rallying cry, with Republicans accusing the Obama administration of intentionally misleading the public about the nature of the attack and stonewalling congressional investigators.
The special investigation means high-profile hearings in the months leading up to the elections, with Republicans likely to target current and former administration officials. Almost certain to be called to testify is Clinton.
The panel is authorized to work through the end of the year, past November’s midterm elections, when the GOP hopes to win control of the Senate and tighten its majority grip on the House.
In the 20 months since the attack, multiple independent, bipartisan and GOP-led probes have faulted the State Department for inadequate security in Benghazi, leading to four demotions. No attacker has yet been arrested.