Nancy Pelosi took to making threats yesterday about the Benghazi Select Committee, demanding that it be composed equally of Democrats with the unspoken threat of a boycott if that demand isn’t met.
Via Hot Air…
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the select committee probing the attack in Benghazi should be split equally between Democrats and Republicans.
“If this review is to be fair, it must be truly bipartisan,” Pelosi said in a Tuesday morning 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.”
But the chair of that newly-formed committee, Rep. Trey Gowdy, dismissed that idea out of hand. Gowdy’s not someone to be trifled with…
The transcript of his response to Pelosi was particularly juicy…
MARTHA: All right. So talk to me a little it about the makeup of this committee because Nancy Pelosi just said moments ago, to our Chad Pergram, he reported that she wants this to be an evenly divided select committee, an even number of Democrats and Republicans.
And you know that up to that statement, there have been a lot of calls for Democrats to completely boycott this committee. And there’s going to be be very little credibility if it is full of Republicans, many would say.
GOWDY: Well, I certainly hope the Democrats participate. I, Martha, continue to think that some things transcend politics like the murder of four of our fellow citizens and whether or not you trust government. That is not a red or blue issue. That is an American issue. As for whether or not they boycott, I hope they don’t.
I can tell you this. It is not going to be evenly constituted and when she was Speaker Pelosi, she certainly showed no interests in having an equal number of Republicans and Democrats.
We’re in the majority. That may or may not be the case after November but we’re in the majority right now and we’re in the majority for a reason. And I just find it interesting that people’s ability to do math changes when they go from being the Speaker to the Minority Leader.
MARTHA: So what, tell me what composition you see on this select committee? What would you like it to be?
GOWDY: Well, the Speaker is going to decide that. Something in the 10-7 range or like what we have with other committees now. Every committee of Congress is constituted with more Republicans than Democrats because there are more Republicans than Democrats. And I hasten to add, every committee in the Senate is constituted with more Democrats than Republicans. I mean there are consequences to elections.
It later surfaced that the committee will have a 7-5 Republican-to-Democrat breakdown.
There is a lot of discussion about who would be the chief counsel to the committee, and that discussion seems to center on National Review contributor and former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy – for a number of reasons. McCarthy has written extensively, both in columns and blogs and also in a couple of books, about the Benghazi debacle, but he also successfully prosecuted “the blind sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing – and that prosecution gives McCarthy expertise into the kinds of jihadist networks which had a lot to do with what happened in Benghazi.
On that score, I am flattered beyond words that people for whom I have great respect — particularly Hugh Hewitt and Istanpundit’s Randy Barnett — have suggested that I’d be a good choice as the committee’s special counsel. Yet, tempting as the prospect seems, I think it would be a mistake to pick me or someone like me — specifically, a commentator who has publicly drawn conclusions based on the already-known facts.
Dereliction of duty and fraud on the nation are not just serious matters; they are impeachable offenses, and I’ve argued for many months that the president and his underlings are guilty of both. As I mentioned in the weekend column, I am also about to publish a book (called Faithless Execution) on presidential lawlessness in which Benghazi is prominently featured. If, as I assume, the ethical standard of avoiding even “the appearance of impropriety” should be applied to the choice of a lawyer with prosecutorial experience to lead the investigation, it would be as much a mistake on my part to accept such an appointment as it would be for it to be offered to me. (Recall how critical many of us, myself included, have been of the Obama Justice Department’s appointment of an Obama and Democratic-party donor to lead an investigation into whether the IRS harassed conservative groups for the benefit of the Obama administration and the Democratic party.)
He then appeared on Megyn Kelly’s show to expound on the question and make some suggestions about who the chief counsel ought to be…
It’s that level of integrity which makes us want McCarthy all the more, but he’s not going to be the guy.
Gowdy will find someone for that role, though, and it’s a sure thing he’s going to have an aggressive chief counsel.