Washington, D.C. - House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement after being appointed to the Select Committee on Benghazi:
“Today, I accepted Leader Pelosi’s appointment to be on the Select Committee on Benghazi. The loss of four brave Americans was tragic, and we must do everything possible to prevent such attacks from happening again. On that point, there is no debate. What is not clear is why this committee needs to be formed in the first place. What are Republicans trying to achieve?
“Since the attack, there have been eight reports on Benghazi: a report done by the State Department Accountability Review Board, two bipartisan reports in the United States Senate, and five reports conducted in the House of Representatives. All questions that have been raised, have been thoroughly investigated and answered, yet House Republicans are demanding another costly investigation. But we Democrats cannot stop that. It is going to happen so it is better that we participate to at least try to bring some transparency, fairness and openness to process. It is, however, regrettable that the Republican majority has insisted on continuing this political witch hunt.
“In addition to costing a significant amount of time and money, this witch hunt is costing Congress credibility. Oversight is a very important role of government. However, these repeated attempts by Republicans to find a scandal is undermining our credibility and damaging our ability to conduct legitimate oversight in the future.
“This committee never should have been formed. We should be focused on implementing the recommendations produced by the many reports already completed by Congress and tracking down those who attacked us, not attacking each other to gain political points.”