Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday that Democrats should be represented, in equal numbers with Republicans, on the yet-to-be-formed House select committee called for last week by Speaker John A. Boehner to look into Benghazi.
“If this review is to be fair, it must be truly bipartisan," the California Democrat said in her statement. "The panel should be equally divided between Democrats and Republicans as is done on the House Ethics Committee. It should require that witnesses are called and interviewed, subpoenas are issued, and information is shared on a bipartisan basis. Only then could it be fair.” Some Democrats have dismissed the committee, which Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Monday would be headed by South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy, a former prosecutor, as a political stunt and have suggested boycotting the panel. Early reaction from Republicans to Pelosi's request was skeptical. On Twitter, Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck noted that Pelosi's 2007 select committee on climate change was 9-6 Democrat.
On Monday, in an appearance on MSNBC, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said there has been talk of boycotting the panel.
"That's certainly an option. Because again, this is a political witch hunt. The question will be whether it makes sense to have, you know, Democrats in those seats countering this political witch hunt, or to try and make it clear through their absence that this is just a political charade," the Maryland Democrat said.
"So, let’s first see what Republicans actually propose in terms of the shape of this committee, how many members, what the rules will be, and then we can reach the kind of judgment that you’re asking about."