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New Benghazi Committee: Political Theater Or Fact-Finder?

The eighth investigation into the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi has each side accusing the other of disingenuous tactics.

New Benghazi Committee: Political Theater Or Fact-Finder?
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Out for the truth, or out for donations? Holding the Obama administration accountable, or overplaying their hand? The apparent answer as House lawmakers in D.C. open a new investigative committee into the Benghazi attacks: Yes.

AMY ROBACH, ABC ANCHOR: "Republicans on Capitol Hill are opening an eighth investigation into the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Democrats are meeting to discuss whether to boycott the new investigation, calling it election year politics."

ELISABETH HASSELBECK, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: "Four Americans killed and months gone by with zero accountability here."

STEVE DOOCY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: "Had The White House not started spinning from the get-go, we probably wouldn't be here. If they just would've leveled with people — now we're going to find out."

The September 2012 attack that killed four people, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, has heaped heavy criticism on the White House. (Via CBS)

Originally described as rioting from spontaneous protests, we now know it was a coordinated terror attack the intelligence community failed to predict. That's led to accusations ranging from an insufficient military response to President Obama's campaign using the attack to help his re-election two months later.

But Democrats launched back quickly. During a debate with Newt Gingrich on CNN's "Crossfire," California Congressman Xavier Becerra wouldn't say whether Democrats will boycott the committee.

BECERRA (D-CALIFORNIA): "We have to fulfill our oversight obligations if it's real. I'm not sure this is real. So far, it looks like it's a campaign stunt to raise money for the Republican National Campaign Committee." (Via CNN)

Becerra was likely referring to the National Republican Congressional Committee's page calling for voters to sign up to become a "Benghazi Watchdog" with a recommended minimum donation of $25.

House Speaker Boehner rejected the idea the new committee was meant as a way to make money in a midterm election year. (Via CBS)

JOHN BOEHNER (R-OHIO) : "Our focus is on getting the answers to those families who lost their loved ones, period." (Via CBS)

Politico spoke to both Democratic and Republican strategists. While the Democrat called the new committee a "politically perilous, treacherous thing," the GOP strategist had a different viewpoint.

 

"You're going to see people on both sides use it to build mailing lists, build name ID, fundraising lists, etc. There's a base level of inevitability."

Basically, what did you expect? Something other than political theater?

​MAGGIE ​HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST & POLITICO SR. POLITICAL WRITER: "There's two conflicting impulses here. I mean, on the one hand, there's the negative press hit of the fact that yes ... I think that when John Boehner got asked about this the other day, this was not what he wanted to be talking about. ... They ultimately are looking at winning this November, and that's what their goal is."

As it currently stands, the new committee will consist of seven Republican members of the House and five Democrats.