Updated: 2:20 P.M. EST
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday named 5 Democrats to the GOP-led select committee on Benghazi, announcing that her party will fully participate in the investigation.
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member, Committee on Oversight & Government Reform
Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Ranking Member, Armed Services Committee
Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-CA), Committee on Appropriations (Subcommittee on State & Foreign Operations), Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Rep. Linda T. Sanchez (D-CA), Committee on Ways and Means (Subcommittee on Oversight)
Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Armed Services Committee, Committee on Oversight & Government Reform
One lawmaker who won’t be on the committee is Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), who had indicated interest and whom progressive advocates were pushing Pelosi to name to the panel.
In a news conference with the newly revealed committee members, Pelosi said her party still doesn’t believe the investigation will be fair, but described that as “all the more reason for Democrats to participate” so they can “bring some openness and transparency to what’s going on.”
Initially Democratic leaders had wanted to boycott the committee, which the party roundly views as a partisan witch hunt to damage the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton ahead of a potential 2016 presidential run. But they came around to participating upon deciding that they wanted access to the documents and information, and wanted to be in the room to cross-examine witnesses.
“I believe we need someone in that room to simply defend the truth,” Cummings said Wednesday, standing beside Pelosi and the Democrats on the panel.
A senior House GOP aide retorted, “You don’t defend the truth, you defend a story. You find the truth, and that’s exactly why this committee was created.”