The Politico reports that in spite of the grandstanding of several House Democrats in response to the creation of the Benghazi special committee led by Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Team Clinton played a large role in getting them to agree to participate:
Hillary Clinton’s world was so worried about a Republican investigation of the Benghazi attacks, they sent a message to House Democrats: We need backup.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) publicly considered boycotting the panel, an idea that Clinton supporters feared would leave the potential 2016 candidate exposed to the enemy fire of House Republicans.
So Clinton emissaries launched a back channel campaign, contacting several House Democratic lawmakers and aides to say they’d prefer Democrats participate, according to sources familiar with the conversations. Pelosi’s staff said they have not heard from Clinton’s camp.
On Wednesday, Pelosi appointed five Democrats to the committee, giving Democrats another crucial mission in the months ahead of what was already a tough election year: act as Clinton’s first line of defense.
Clinton and her allies know from experience the kind of damage an emboldened Republican House committee can inflict.
If Clinton testifies, it will almost certainly be one of the blockbuster moments for the committee and an important prelude as she considers a second run for the White House.
Some Democrats are already worried that they have been too slow to prepare for the expected partisan battles on Benghazi. Republicans have been teeing up for months.
The Democrats on the committee may be able to blunt some of the damage, but I think it’s Clinton herself who will be her own worst enemy if called to testify. When on the defensive, she comes off as such – taking the typical Clintonian attitude that she shouldn’t dare be called to account, that everything she does is “for the greater good” and shouldn’t be questioned … and that attitude shows in her responses, as it did the last time around.
As always, stay tuned.