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Boehner: Lack of Democrats Would Not Impede Benghazi Committee’s Work

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John A. Boehner said Monday that a Democratic boycott of the special committee investigating the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya , will not impede the panel from doing its work, but the Ohio Republican said he is trying to assure Democrats of a fair process .  

Boehner said that if Democrats do not appoint members to the special committee, Republicans will have to hold themselves to a higher standard so as not to appear partisan.  

“It will not impede the investigation. I do think it will cause us to have to adhere to a higher standard if they don’t participate, but this is about one issue, it’s about getting to the truth of what happened on Sept. 11, 2012,” Boehner said, speaking at a question-and-answer session at a luncheon hosted by several San Antonio chambers of commerce. Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have been going back and forth about how the committee will work procedurally, but Democrats have still not decided whether they will participate, boycott the committee, or perhaps only name one person to the roster as a symbolic protest .  

“I promised Mrs. Pelosi that if she appoints members to this they will be treated fairly, and we’ve been having a discussion over the last four or five days about how witnesses would be handled, how documents would be handled, to come to some understanding up front what I mean by fairness,” Boehner said.  

Boehner also was asked by the moderator, Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune, whether it is appropriate for the National Republican Congressional Committee fundraise off of the Benghazi attack, but the speaker said he is not involved in those decisions and does not plan to be .  

“I’m involved in this investigation, I’m not involved in what goes on in the campaign committees,” he said. “I’ve got to believe that Democrats are probably fundraising off of Benghazi just like we are. Do you think when we had Katrina they weren’t fundraising off of this? I don’t know what the fundraising arm is doing, all know is that we’re trying to get to the truth here.”