Cummings On Select Committee: "We Need Someone In That Room To Defend The Truth"
Statement of Rep. Elijah E. Cummings
Press Conference with Leader Pelosi Announcing Democratic Appointees to the House Select Committee on Benghazi
May 21, 2014
I do not believe a Select Committee is called for after eight reports, dozens of witness interviews, and a review of more than 25,000 pages of documents.
Many of the so-called unanswered questions Republicans have been raising recently have already been answered in these previous reports.
I also do not believe the Select Committee rules proposed by the Speaker are fair, open, or designed to conduct a neutral, reasoned, fact-based inquiry.
Despite these challenges, I have agreed to participate for two reasons.
First, as you know, I have served as the Ranking Member on the Oversight Committee for the past three years.
And in that role, I have seen firsthand how abusive the Republicans have been during this investigation.
They have issued unilateral subpoenas, they have made unsubstantiated accusations with no evidence to back them up, and they have released selective excerpts of documents and transcripts that distort the truth.
They falsely accused Secretary of State of misleading Congress about reducing security in Benghazi—a claim the Washington Post Fact Checker gave Four Pinocchios.
Second, the family members of Ambassador Chris Stevens have pleaded publicly for this not to be politicized.
Let me read to you their words, and I quote:
“What Chris never would have accepted was the idea that his death would be used for political purposes.”
So, I feel that I owe it to the families of Ambassador Stevens and the other brave Americans who lost their lives to bring some minimal level of balance to this process and to check false claims whenever I can.
In short, I believe we need someone in that room to defend the truth.
And that is why I have agreed to serve.
Let me just close by saying that rather than fundraising off the murders of these four brave Americans, I believe the best way to honor these men is to bring their killers to justice and work in a bipartisan way to strengthen security for all U.S. personnel overseas.
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