While Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership in the House, have so far balked at participating in the Select Committee to Investigate Benghazi, a number of high-level Democrats have endorsed the committee and have praised Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chair of the committee, as an honorable and fair man.
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell have both endorsed the Committee. Speaking at the same press conference earlier this week, Panetta said there needs to be an investigation: “The problem has been sometimes bits and pieces of information keep coming out” that raise more questions. Panetta stated that he hopes House Democrats participate. Morell for his part stated: “It might be surprising for you to hear me say this, but I am a supporter of the creation of this committee because I want all the facts to come together in one place and be presented as one thing, so the American people can see all of this.”
Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) has also called upon Nancy Pelosi to appoint the five Congressmen allotted to the Democrats to the committee.
Numerous key Democrats have expressed support for Gowdy, as Kate Nocera reported on buzzfeed.com on May 13. “I would look at Mr. Gowdy as the one honest broker in this whole circus,” said Rep. Lacy Clay, a Democrat who serves with Gowdy on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “That’s probably why, with Gowdy at the helm, we would need full participation because we would be heard and we would be able to defend some of the allegations that would arise.”
“Every indication I have had in working with him on the Judiciary Committee is that hes thoughtful, careful, and trying to reach the truth,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez said. “That’s been my experience. We disagree on many, many things, but he has a very clear moral compass.
“I think he’s an honorable person and I think this is a real moment of truth for him,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly. “It’s a real existential moment. You have two choices here: You can rise to this occasion and make your mark and prove that you are willing to buck your party for the sake of truth and fairness or you can just feed the beast and be remembered as a partisan hack.”
Rep. Peter Welch, who also serves on the Oversight Committee, said of Gowdy: “He’s been on the prosecution side but he has a respect for procedure, rules, evidence, and fair process because it’s not just about winning a case for him, but there has to be confidence in the outcome. He’s not designing the process. I do believe he comes at this with a sense of fairness.”
Pat Cadell, the Democratic pollster, who has worked with a number of Democratic Presidents, gave an interview in which he said that Benghazi is the “biggest cover-up since Watergate.” He said that what the committee should “do is what we did in Watergate, which is to gather the facts.” He pointed out that Ben Rhodes worked for Tom Donilon, who he described as a political hack, disguised as a foreign policy expert, who manipulated this because of the danger to Obama. Cadell said that we have to start looking at root causes. At the end of the day Donilon produced the talking points and I said this a year ago.