A quick look at the Republican Benghazi committee members

Speaker Boehner named the six additional Republican members of the select Benghazigate committee yesterday. Trey Gowdy will be joined by Susan Brooks (Ind.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Mike Pompeo (Kan.), Martha Roby (Ala.), Peter Roskam (Ill.), and Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.).

Jordan, who has a law degree, serves with Gowdy on the House Oversight Committee. He has been a pretty effective questioner when I’ve seen him in action.

Pompeo is a Harvard Law graduate and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Before that, he graduated first in his class from West Point and then served as an Armor Branch cavalry officer from 1986 to 1991.

Pompeo is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and from all that I’ve heard, his work is well-regarded.

Pompeo represents the Kansas district in which Koch Industries is located. John wrote here and here about the efforts of someone called Lee Fang (of the Center for American Progress) to characterize the vastly accomplished Pompeo as “spawned by ‘Kochtopus’.”

We’ll be hearing more about a Koch connection now, but Pompeo seems like an excellent choice for the select committee.

Brooks (whose picture accompanies this post on our main page) was elected to the House in 2013. She served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana from 2001 to 2007, and thus seems like a logical choice for this committee.

Roby is a lawyer. She led earlier hearings into military activities related to the Benghazi attack. Her subcommittee concluded that there was a breakdown in communication between military, intelligence and diplomatic officials, and a failure by the White House to facilitate such communication. The subcommittee’s jurisdiction was limited to the role of the Defense Department. Now, she will have the opportunity to explore other aspects of this scandalous tragedy.

I haven’t observed Roby in action, but she too is a logical choice for the committee.

Roskam is part of the House leadership, serving as Chief Deputy Whip. He’s a former personal injury lawyer and was once named “Best Oral Advocate” by the American College of Trial Lawyers. The few times that I have observed Roskam, he was good on his feet.

Westmoreland, like Pompeo, serves on the House Intelligence Committee. He is not a lawyer (or a college graduate), but presumably is well-versed on Benghazi as a result of his committee work.

Westmoreland once referred to candidate Barack Obama and his wife as “uppity.” Democrats and their media friends will be quick to point this out (and to characterize the comment as racist) when Westmoreland himself becomes “uppity” with his Benghazi questioning.

From what I can tell, Boehner has done a good job selecting committee members. Even USA Today had to admit:

[T]he seven Republicans bring a collective background of legal expertise and relevant committee experience. Absent are some of the GOP’s most bombastic critics of the administration’s response to the attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi.

The Committee includes two female members, Brooks and Roby. This will make it difficult to argue persuasively that there’s a general “war on women” going on when the committee probes the conduct of Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice.

The key selections, though, will be the lead lawyer and the investigative staff.

Responses