Boehner on Benghazi Committee: 'I Don't Want Theater, I Don't Want a Sideshow'
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told Fox he selected "bright, energetic and people committed to getting to the facts" for the special committee on Benghazi because "I don't want theater; I don't want a sideshow."
Along with Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) as chairman, Boehner named Reps. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas), Martha Roby (R-Ala.), Pete Roskam (R-Ill.), and Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) to the panel. Democrats are still deciding whether they'll fill their five seats.
"The way the House operates, the majority has more members. And as a result, on each of the committees we have more members," Boehner said. "Now Leader Pelosi, when she created the so-called climate change committee, you know, it was -- I think it was eight to five or nine to six, somewhere in that range, which is very typical for what happens here in the House."
"We've had four committees working on this for the last 20 months and they have done a very good job," he said, adding that lines were "crossed" that made him acquiesce to members' requests for a select committee.
"One is when it became clear that the White House was more engaged in how this was going to be described than they had previously admitted to. And secondly there were some documents that were turned over to Judicial Watch as a result of a FOIA request that had not been turned over via a subpoena that the Congress had issued to the administration," Boehner said. "Two serious mistakes, in my view, that where they told me they're not going to be honest with us and it was time to bring all of these investigations into one place."
He predicted the committee will focus on a few things. "The events leading up to 9/11, 2012, the requests -- the number of requests for more security and why it was not provided. Then obviously the events of the night of September 11, 2012, what happened, why there was no response. And then thirdly, why did the White House describe this in a way I believe they knew was false?"
"All the committees that have worked on the investigation are going to be required to turn over all of their documents, committee records, notes, work product to the select committee. So all the documents will be in one place. And it will be up to the select committee to review all those documents and to make decisions about how to proceed," he added.
When asked if there will be a special committee established to investigate the IRS scandal, Boehner replied, "The contempt charge has gone to the attorney general. And it's up to the attorney general, Eric Holder, to prosecute this. And to assign someone to prosecute the case. Now will they do it? We don't know. But ball is in his court."
When asked if the House was willing to arrest Lois Lerner, Boehner was unwilling.
"There is a provision in the Constitution that has never been used. And so that's a -- I'm not quite sure that we want to get on that path," he said. "...I'm not the historian here. But it has never been used. And I'm not sure that it's an appropriate way to go about this. It's up to Eric Holder to do his job."