Bucking Deputies, Pelosi Picks 5 Democrats for Benghazi Panel

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from The New York Times,

Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, disregarding some of her closest lieutenants in the Democratic leadership, appointed a full slate of House Democrats on Wednesday to a special committee investigating the 2012 attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

The move gives legitimacy to a committee that many Democrats have dismissed as an election-year partisan stunt, but it affords President Obama’s defenders an opportunity to influence the direction of the hearings and get access to documents and other evidence that could be presented.

All but one of the members selected by Ms. Pelosi served on committees that previously investigated the deadly assault: Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; Representative Adam Smith of Washington, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee; Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, a member of the Intelligence Committee; Representative Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, a decorated and severely wounded combat veteran of the Iraq war; and Representative Linda T. Sanchez of California, the ranking Democrat on the Ethics Committee, which has had no role in investigating the attack.

With her choices, Ms. Pelosi, the House minority leader, raises the pressure on Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina and the chairman of the special committee. If he finds new information, he might upstage the chairmen of those three committees. But if he recycles previously unearthed material, Democrats from those committees will be there to dismiss it as old news.

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