Cummings: Democrats won’t resign from Benghazi Committee

Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsStopgap government funding measure includes census money, military pay raise Maya Rockeymoore Cummings reports surgery was a success, will return to campaign trail The Hill's Morning Report — Public impeachment drama resumes today MORE (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Select Committee on Benghazi, says Democrats on the panel will not resign in protest.

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“We have decided to stay on the committee because somebody has to be in the room to defend the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” Cummings said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

He said without Democrats on the panel, Republicans would have run roughshod over former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Centrists change tone of Democratic race In 2020, democracy will be decided at the margins Michelle Obama presents Lin-Manuel Miranda with National Portrait Award MORE, the Democratic presidential front-runner, during her 11-hour-long appearance on Thursday.

“And if you think about it, if you listen to the questions that were being asked by Republicans and the way they tried to attack her, you really did need to have Democrats in the room to give the other side of the story,” he said.

Cummings called on Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Conway spars with Wallace on whether White House will cooperate with impeachment inquiry after formal vote Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' MORE (R-S.C.) to release all of the hearing transcripts from the investigation into the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

“One of the things that I have asked Chairman Gowdy to do is release all the transcripts with appropriate redactions for sensitivity,” Cummings said. “Because I want the public to actually see what’s in these transcripts, because I believe that once they see what’s in the transcripts, they will have a pretty good idea of what this is all about.”

Cummings has been rumored as a possible successor to Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who announced that she will resign at the end of her term in 2017. He said he is still mulling a potential Senate run.

“I'm going to meet with my family, and we're going to make that decision,” he said. “When I'm not even in the race, by the way, and I'm leading by 13 points, it does give me an idea of how I would do. So we'll figure that out.”