Benghazi panel is a 'hunting mission for a lynch mob,' Feinstein says

McClatchy Washington BureauMay 18, 2014 

"I think it's ridiculous. I think it's a hunting mission for a lynch mob, actually. I think that's what's going on."

That's Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein's take Sunday on the House special committee to look into the 2012 attack in Benghazi, which killed four Americans.

The House panel, pushed hard by House Republicans, would have seven Republicans and five Democrats, but Democratic leaders have not decided whether to name anyone.

Feinstein, speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," argued, as many Democrats have, such a panel is unnecessary.

"There have been four major reports. We spent a year-and-a-half on a report. We held hearings. Thousands of pages were reviewed," she said. Her committee issued a report in January year and the majority said the incident was "likely preventable."

Committee Republicans attached an addendum putting blame on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a lack of preparedness.

The House panel is to investigate “all policies, decisions and activities” dealing with the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Its timetable is open-ended — virtually assuring that hearings will proceed as 2016 presidential campaign unfolds.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., will chair the committee. It will also include Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, Mike Pompeo of Kansas, Martha Roby of Alabama, Peter Roskam of Illinois and Susan Brooks of Indiana.

Republicans see hope that the committee will spotlight the role of President Barack Obama and, perhaps more significantly, Clinton, a potential Democratic contender in the 2016 presidential race.

Republicans also sense fundraising possibilities — and perhaps even a chance to motivate their base for the 2014 elections. Turnout historically has been low for such contests.

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