Concerns About Hillary Clinton Driving Democrats’ Benghazi Committee Strategy

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-05_6fbd0f6324.jpgMark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Is it better for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton if Democrats boycott or participate in the new House investigation of the Benghazi attacks? That question was central to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s thinking before finally deciding to appoint Democratic members to the House select committee investigating the attacks.

Several Democrats had urged Pelosi not to participate in the committee, saying it is unwise to lend an air of legitimacy to an investigation they have derided as a political witch hunt. But others, particularly those close to Clinton, believed that having Democrats on the panel was the only way to ensure both sides of the story will be told.

On Wednesday, Pelosi announced the appointments of five Democratic members to the committee which will explore the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans:

  • Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), Ranking Member, Committee on Oversight & Government Reform
  • Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Ranking Member, Armed Services Committee
  • Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), Committee on Appropriations (Subcommittee on State & Foreign Operations), Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Linda T. Sanchez (D-Calif.), Committee on Ways and Means (Subcommittee on Oversight)
  • Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Armed Services Committee, Committee on Oversight & Government Reform

The Benghazi hearings are likely to become televised spectacles, so the thinking in the Clinton world is that it’s better to have Democrats join in the questioning in hopes of balancing the proceedings, ABC News has learned.

House Speaker John Boehner has appointed seven Republicans to participate in the investigation, which will be led by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

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