WASHINGTON — Speaker John A. Boehner on Friday appointed seven Republicans to the select committee tasked with continuing investigations into the 2012 attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, as Democrats struggled to overcome internal disagreements about how to handle the latest inquiry and whether to appoint any of their own members to the committee.
In addition to Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, who is the chairman of the committee, Boehner appointed Reps. Susan W. Brooks of Indiana, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Mike Pompeo of Kansas, Martha Roby of Alabama, Peter Roskam of Illinois and Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia.
Boehner’s announcement, on the House floor before the chamber departed for a weeklong break, came as Democratic lawmakers continued to deliberate over their role on the committee, which was created Thursday on a largely party-line vote.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader, told reporters Friday that the Republican-controlled committee was a “kangaroo court” and a “political stunt.” But the Democratic leadership team remains divided over whether it should boycott the committee, participate fully, or find some middle ground.
“A lot of people say, ‘Just let them show who they are with all of this. Any of our witnesses can hold their own in that venue. They don’t need us there to protect them,’” Pelosi said. “And then there’s another school of thought that says: ‘We’ve seen how they operate. We think we should be there.’”
On Thursday, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., suggested a third option to her colleagues: appointing one Democratic lawmaker to the committee, so that Democrats would at least know what subpoenas and evidence are coming.