Clintonistas are so worried about Benghazi they pressured Democrats to cooperate with Gowdy’s investigation

Hillary Clinton’s allies are absolutely terrified of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, according to a shocking report from POLITICO. Democrats weren’t going to participate in the process, but Clintonistas changed their minds for them because it could hurt her 2016 presidential campaign:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) publicly considered boycotting the panel, an idea that Clinton supporters feared would leave the potential 2016 candidate exposed to the enemy fire of House Republicans.

So Clinton emissaries launched a back channel campaign, contacting several House Democratic lawmakers and aides to say they’d prefer Democrats participate, according to sources familiar with the conversations. Pelosi’s staff said they have not heard from Clinton’s camp

On Wednesday, Pelosi appointed five Democrats to the committee, giving Democrats another crucial mission in the months ahead of what was already a tough election year: act as Clinton’s first line of defense.

“Republicans are making it clear they plan to use the power of the Benghazi Select Committee to continue to politicize the tragedy that occurred in Benghazi, which is exactly why Democratic participation in the committee is vital,” a Democrat close to Clinton world said. “Inevitably, witnesses ranging from Secretary Clinton to Secretary [John] Kerry will be subpoenaed to testify, and the Democrats appointed to the committee will help restore a level of sanity to the hearings, which would otherwise exist solely as a political witch hunt.”

House Democrats initially considered boycotting the committee before key figures within the Clinton realm launched a behind-the-scenes campaign to ensure they would have a voice on the Committee, chaired by South Carolina Republican Congressman and former federal prosecutor Trey Gowdy.

Gowdy is well known for his meticulous and thorough questioning, and Slate reporter Dave Weigel suggested Gowdy “was made for the job” based on his legal background prior to being elected to Congress.

Weigel recalled an exchange between Rep. Gowdy and Brigadier General Robert Lovell:

“What evidence did you have that this was an escalation of a protest rooted in spontaneity that got out of control and resulted in the murder of four of our fellow Americans?” [Gowdy] asked.

“There was none,” said [Brig. Gen.] Lovell.

It was a perfect answer, coaxed out by a passionate reminder of how they were discussing not just talking points but the lives of Americans—Americans Gowdy had promised to honor in their deaths. It was also, as Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon would prove, one of very few useful answers. Lovell was there to contradict the official, investigated story that the military did everything it could to get resources to Benghazi. “BG Lovell did not serve in a capacity that gave him reliable insight into operational options available to commanders during the attack,” said McKeon

Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings will serve as the ranking Democrat on the Committee, and Reps. Linda Sanchez (CA), Adam Schiff (CA), Adam Smith (WA), and Tammy Duckworth (IL) will round out the minority. Republican members include Susan Brooks (IN), Jim Jordan (OH), Mike Pompeo (KS), Martha Roby (AL), Peter Roskam (IL), and Lynn Westmoreland (GA).

No word yet on when the Select Committee will begin its investigation, but it’s clear the Clinton camp is very concerned about what the Committee will reveal.

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