Dem: Boehner should shut down Republicans' Benghazi fundraising

 

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) should shut down any GOP fundraising off the creation of a select committee investigating the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said Thursday. 

The ranking member of the House Oversight Committee said Boehner has the ability to shut down the effort by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

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"Speaker Boehner can shut this fundraising effort down right now, and he should," Cummings said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "You shouldn't be raising money with regard to this matter." 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a Web video blasting Republicans for the effort, and chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) echoed the call to Boehner and NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.).

"Speaker Boehner and Chairman Walden should immediately take down their BenghaziWatchdogs.com website and stop insulting the memory of the brave Americans who were lost there,” Israel said in a statement.

The NRCC, the House Republican campaign arm, posted a number of blogs earlier this week about the forthcoming committee with links to fundraising pages. 

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who was picked to lead the committee, has told his Republican colleagues to follow his lead by not raising money off the 2012 attack. 

"I also advise my colleagues to follow suit, and I think I did so in a pretty unambiguous way," he said Thursday. 

The NRCC has not explicitly responded to Gowdy's request, saying only that the campaign committee's goal is "to hold Democrats in Congress accountable who continue to try and sweep this controversy under the rug."

The renewed investigation into the attacks comes after previously unreleased emails surfaced last week that were not provided to Congress when it subpoenaed relevant documents.

Republicans say the email from deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes advising then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to discuss Muslim protests over an anti-Islam film show the administration tried to downplay the terrorist nature of the attack ahead of the 2012 presidential election.

Previous investigations from the House Oversight Committee have been "one-sided," said Cummings, who pressed the Speaker to reorganize the select committee to have an equal ratio of Democrats and Republicans.

Cummings also questioned the point of the new committee, which the House is poised to vote into existence on Thursday. 

"I don't see what this select committee is going to be able to do that we couldn't do in our committee," he said.  

— Updated at 11:35 a.m.