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House votes to form Select Committee on Benghazi

The House formalized its next step in its 20-month-long investigation into the attacks on Sept. 11, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.
By Gabrielle Levy   |   May 8, 2014 at 6:57 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, May 7 (UPI) -- The House voted Thursday evening to establish a Select Committee that will investigate the terrorist attack that left four Americans dead in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.

Seven Democrats -- Ron Barber of Arizona, John Barrow of Georgia, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, Patrick Murphy of Florida, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Nick Rahall of West Virginia, and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona -- voted with Republicans to launch the next stage in the over 20-month investigation.

"The White House has engaged in a pattern of obstruction -- consistently ignoring subpoenas, redacting relevant information and stonewalling investigators," said Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., ahead of Thursday's vote. "This obstruction gives cause to the grave concerns expressed by countless Americans across the country."

He added: "This obfuscation and refusal to come clean to Congress has left us as well as the people of this country wondering what else is the White House hiding?"

The committee will be chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and will be comprised of seven Republicans and five Democrats. But Democrats say they may boycott the committee, citing anger over the imbalance and accusing the House GOP leadership of playing political games with a tragedy.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., charged Republicans to explain how they plan to keep the effort fair and bipartisan after they "excluded Democratic Members from fact-finding delegations to Libya... denied [Democrats] equal access to witnesses... and selectively leaked documents and cherry-picked transcript excerpts without any official committee consideration."

"Republicans have also been doing something worse," he said. "They have been using the deaths of these four Americans for political campaign fundraising. I call on the Speaker of the House to end that process right now."

The vote was 232-186.

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