House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday morning that the new committee to investigate the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi being commissioned by the House GOP leadership must include an even split of Democrats and Republicans in order to be fair.
“If this review is to be fair, it must be truly bipartisan. The panel should be equally divided between Democrats and Republicans as is done on the House Ethics Committee," Pelosi said in a statement. "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.”
The statement, which noted that the administration's handling of the attack has already been investigated twice by bipartisan investigative bodies, also said: “The attacks in Benghazi were a tragedy and we join the families of those who died in continuing to mourn their loss. As we go forward, we should always act in a manner respectful of their loss and to prevent future loss of life."
Speaker of the House John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) announced late last week that he would form a House Select Committee to further investigate the Obama administration's handling of the Benghazi attack, which left four Americans dead just weeks before the 2012 presidential election. Republicans have accused the Obama administration of covering up its failures to prevent the attack and of deliberately blaming the attack on a protest about a controversial video -- despite having knowledge that the video was not to blame -- in order to shield Obama from criticism.
On Monday, Boehner named Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) to lead the committee, and House GOP leadership is expected to meet Tuesday to further hash out the committee's structure and scope.
Democrats have held out on whether or not they will participate in the committee at all -- and will likely not commit to participating or announcing that they will not until after the GOP House leadership unveils the size and partisan divide.
Aides to Boehner were quick to note on Tuesday morning that previous select committees -- including a 2007 committee on climate change commissioned under Pelosi's House leadership -- have included uneven majority-minority party membership.