Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

GOP Pursues Benghazi Fallout ; but Inquiry Carries Gains, Political Risks

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

GOP Pursues Benghazi Fallout ; but Inquiry Carries Gains, Political Risks

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - The creation of a special committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attacks carries the potential for political gains - and risks - for Republicans. The House of Representatives voted Thursday create a special panel to investigate the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks, a vote pushed through by the Republican majority on a largely party-line vote.

The panel is to investigate "all policies, decisions, and activities" dealing with the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.

Its timetable is open-ended - virtually assuring that hearings will be held, and reports will be issued, as the 2016 presidential campaign unfolds.

Friday, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, named six Republicans to join Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S. C., on the committee: Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, Mike Pompeo of Kansas, Martha Roby of Alabama, Peter Roskam of Illinois and Susan Brooks of Indiana.

Democrats are torn about whether to participate. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Friday that "this is a stunt," and she wanted to talk to Boehner before deciding whether, or whom, to name. She also said the families of two of the Benghazi victims had called and said, "Please don't take us down this path again."

Republicans, who will rule the committee 7-5, sense potential for staggering President Barack Obama and, perhaps more important, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her way to the 2016 presidential race. They see fundraising possibilities, as well as a powerful tool for firing up their base for this midterm election, a time when turnout is traditionally low.

Many Republicans also worry they're playing with political fire.

"The people who are seen as politicizing this are going to get burned" regardless of political party, warned Sen. …

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