Chairman Xavier Becerra Discusses Appointment of Democratic Members to Select Committee on Benghazi

May 21, 2014

Today, Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-34), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, was on MSNBC “NOW With Alex Wagner” to discuss the appointment of Democratic Members to the Select Committee on Benghazi. Below are excerpts:

“We kept asking the Speaker to guarantee that this was going to be a serious investigation, and that we weren’t just going to try to go back and do what seven other investigations did to try to uncover anything that maybe had not been discovered. But we couldn’t get those guarantees. We kept trying to get guarantees that it would be a fair, open and balanced process. We got none of these guarantees and it became very clear, especially given all the fundraising, the campaign contributions that are being raised off of this Benghazi investigation, that it was turning into something very different. And so, I believe that many Democrats did not want to let this become, not just a circus, but something that would be very similar to what we saw during the McCarthy era where it turned very ugly, and no one wants to see the influence of a very important democratic institution being diminished, simply because someone wanted to raise campaign cash off of tragedy that took the lives of four Americans.

“I think a lot of members wondered why participate in something that’s clearly becoming something other than a serious congressional investigation? You know you got to believe that you can make this a serious effort, you got to believe that people would not abuse of this institution, this democratic institution, in this way. But, you can either be on the playing field or you can be on the sidelines or in the stands. I think at the end of the day the Leader made the determination that its better for us to try to be fighting for the truth, trying to help the American public see what’s really going on. So hopefully what goes on is that it’s a meaningful investigation, not some witch-hunt that really is a way to raise campaign cash as we continue to hear Republicans say.

“But, at the same time, we know the Republicans are going to go out there, seven of them, and go out there and do this circus on there own, and so somebody’s got to be a watch dog on the so called watch dogs, and we have to make sure that the watch dogs in Congress doing meaningful oversight are there, versus the attack dogs that we continue to see portrayed by these campaign fundraising notices, that are being put out by our Republican colleagues.”