Republicans reject Democratic demand for equal strength on Benghazi panel

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican congressman who’s been chosen to head a House probe of the attack in Benghazi, Libya, is rejecting a demand from Democrats that they be given equal strength on the panel.

Republican Trey Gowdy of South Carolina says Republicans are “in the majority for a reason.”

Democrats see the special panel’s investigation of Benghazi — where the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans died — as little more than an election-year ploy by Republicans to discredit the Obama administration. But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi today left open the possibility that the Democrats would take part in the investigation. She insisted that there be bipartisanship, with Republicans sharing information, and she called for the same number of Democrats as Republicans on the panel.

While rejecting that demand, Gowdy said Pelosi’s comments are a “good sign” that Democrats are considering taking part.

He says his record in Congress shows that he is fair and respectful toward Democratic committee members.

Twenty months after the Benghazi attack, Republicans have made the issue a central plank in their strategy to win control of the Senate in November’s elections.

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