Expert: Democrats Better Off To Join Benghazi Probe

Despite a call to boycott the Republican push for a select committee investigation of the 2012 Benghazi attack, Democrats will have to take part to avoid losing control of the narrative if more damaging memos emerge about the Obama administration’s handling of the attacks, observers told the Herald.

“The call for a select committee is predicated on those recent memos, with more to come,” said Victor Davis Hanson of the Hoover Institution, referring to last week’s so-called smoking gun emails. “So if they were to boycott it, and if they have another one of these Ben Rhodes memos, they’d look really stupid right before the midterm elections. They’d be better off to go along with it and hope nothing else surfaces.”

Hanson said Dems will want to be able to shape questions for officials who come before the committee, particularly if more material emerges like a previously withheld email by White House speech writer Ben Rhodes that documents efforts to frame the terrorist attack as a response to an anti-Muslim video, and another previously classified email that indicated the attack was immediately identified as an Islamic extremist terrorist attack. The 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-
Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, yesterday on “Fox News Sunday” called the Benghazi committee “a tremendous red herring” and a waste of money, and said he’d recommend Democratic leaders boycott it.

U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) slammed the boycott suggestion, saying it would be “terribly arrogant” and “wrong.”

“If Democrats boycott this committee, refuse to take part, the American people are going to conclude, and I think quite rightly, that they feel they have something to hide,” King told Fox News.

But GOP strategist Ford O’Connell, who advised John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, said Republicans who want to see further inquiry into Benghazi need to be careful about their approach.

“The Republicans really have a little more going for them, but they have to be careful not to be too political about it, and make this about transparency and good government,” O’Connell said.

Read more from Jack Encarnacao at The Boston Herald

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