House Republicans on Wednesday moved toward an election-year special investigation of the deadly attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Libya, brushing aside Democratic concerns over the panel’s scope and composition. The Obama administration, meanwhile, accused Republicans of “political motivation” after they issued a fundraising email linked to the Benghazi probe.
Ahead of a Thursday vote to rubber-stamp the establishment of the Benghazi select committee, House Speaker John Boehner vowed that the examination would be “all about getting to the truth” of the Obama administration’s response to the attack and not be a partisan, election-year circus. “This is a serious investigation,” he said, accusing the president and his team of withholding the true story of how terrorists killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11, 2012.
Democrats pondered a boycott while waiting for Boehner to respond to demand from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that he scrap his plan for a committee of seven Republicans and five Democrats. Democrats insisted membership should be evenly split, and urged time and cost constraints for a forum they likened to a “kangaroo court” designed only to drum up GOP support ahead of the November elections.
Republicans insist the White House, concerned primarily with protecting President Barack Obama in the final weeks of his re-election campaign, misled the nation by playing down intelligence suggesting Benghazi was a major, al-Qaida-linked terrorist attack.