Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida, has a plan to become Republicans’ “worst nightmare” if he is indeed appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the select committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Pelosi has not yet decided whether Democrats will participate in the panel. However, in an interview with Business Insider, Grayson gave a preview of what he’d do if he gets the job.
Grayson said the creation of the select committee dedicated to investigating Benghazi proves House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa’s probe of the incident is a “failure.” He compared Republicans still focusing on Benghazi to so-called birthers who questioned President Barack Obama’s citizenship.
“It’s ridiculous. They just dredge up one fake scandal after another fake scandal, going all the way back to the president’s birth certificate,” Grayson said.
Grayson said he would use the Benghazi hearings as an opportunity to draw attention to other issues important to “ordinary Americans” that have not received as much attention.
“That’s where we are at this point,” he added. “They’re scandalmongers without a scandal. They’re trying to offer the American people bread and circuses — without the bread.”
Grayson has repeatedly said he would love to be appointed to the committee if Democrats do participate. The committee was established earlier this month by House Speaker John Boehner to investigate Benghazi attack and subsequent government response.
House Democrats have floated a few different courses of action for their potential participation. Some suggest they could boycott the hearings while others say they could participate in full, sending five members to the panel along with Republicans’ seven.
However, in a letter to Pelosi last week, Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro floated the idea of possibly sending just one House Democrat to participate on the panel. DeLauro argued this would allow for Democrats to both signal their disapproval of the panel while also maintaining their ability to question witnesses and get access to reports.
Following DeLauro’s proposal, liberal groups hatched another idea: send Grayson. A petition on the CREDO group’s website has already garnered more than 65,000 signatures.
“The pugnacious former litigator has demonstrated the exact skill set needed to cut through the Republican mythology, the work ethic necessary to fully immerse himself in the issue, and the temperament to weather the blistering attacks sure to come from the conservative media,” wrote Brad Bauman, the former executive director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who posted the petition.
Grayson said it’s up to Pelosi to determine how she wants to approach the number of people she sends to participate. He said he’s “ready, willing, and more than able” to be on the committee and, if he’s chosen he would be Republicans’ “worst and last nightmare.” On Tuesday, Pelosi’s office did not immediately respond to a request from Business Insider on Democrats’ plans for the committee.
Grayson also offered Business Insider a preview of what that “nightmare” would look like. During the proceedings, Grayson said he would attempt to draw attention to other issues for which he thought voters would also like select committees to be formed.
“I’ll be asking why there’s no select committee on income inequality. I’ll be asking why there’s no select committee on immigration reform. I’ll be asking why there’s no select committee on the minimum wage. I’ll be asking why there’s no select committee on anything that has anything to do with the lives of ordinary Americans,” Grayson said.
Grayson predicted he would draw attention to the 60 people who died from embassy attacks under the Bush administration, as well as questioning why there wasn’t a select committee established to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.
He also said he thought the appointment of Phil Kiko, a former National Republican Congressional Committee aide, to be the staff director for the select committee on Benghazi proved it is an attempt by Republicans to boost their fundraising in an election year.
“Well, listen. If you’re going to have a kangaroo court, you’ve got to have your kangaroos. And what better kangaroos than the NRCC?”
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