Boehner names GOP members to Benghazi committee, Dems participation still unknown

Who are the Republican members of the select committee on Benghazi and why were they chosen?


House Speaker John Boehner announced Friday six GOP lawmakers who he has appointed to serve on the Benghazi select committee.

The lawmakers are Reps. Susan Brooks of Indiana, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Mike Pompeo of Kansas, Martha Roby of Alabama, Peter Roskam of Illinois and Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia.

Boehner previously announced that Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. will chair the select committee, which will begin its work after the House returns from the upcoming week-long recess.

Boehner’s announcement came as House Democrats remained unsure whether they would even participate in a committee or boycott it altogether, with one member of the party's House leadership telling Fox News, "We're either in or we're out," while Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi labeled formation of the Republican-led committee a "political stunt."

The Republican-led House on Thursday voted to form a select committee to investigate the deadly Benghazi terror attack, elevating its oversight of an issue that has become a partisan flashpoint.

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Pelosi’s tone turned terse when questioned by reporters on Capitol Hill about the makeup of a committee.  

“What we've asked for is as much bipartisanship as possible,” Pelosi said. “They've rejected a completely divided committee, as the Ethics Committee is.”

Pelosi also called the formation of a select committee to investigate the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi a “political stunt” and likened it to a circus.

“The fact is this is a stunt. This is a political stunt,” Pelosi said. “That's what this is. We've been there done this over and over again.”

Democratic party leaders huddled with rank and file in a closed-door session Friday morning to decide whether to take part in the investigation into the Sept. 11, 2012 attack or if they should boycott the proceedings. Many are split on their involvement in the world of the select committee, which is will have a 7-5 GOP edge.

"If there is going to be a true bipartisan inquiry, we'll participate," Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., told reporters following the meeting. "If it's engineered to be a Republican campaign strategy, it's much harder for us to participate."

Israel said that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had made several calls to Boehner on Thursday that went unanswered. Staff level negotiations have continued.

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., said the sentiment in the caucus was shifting away from a boycott in favor of participating, but Democrats wanted to know the "rules of engagement" first. They are concerned that their participation would grant legitimacy to what they believe will be a partisan forum. But they also worry that if they avoid it, they won't have the chance to counter GOP claims and defend potential witnesses.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., floated the idea of token participation with just one Democrat, but Connolly said he didn't support that step.

Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed when militants stormed the diplomatic outpost. Republicans, who insist the Obama administration hasn't come clean on what happened, voted Thursday to create the special committee.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.