WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Democrats say before they decide whether to take part in a new investigation of Benghazi, they want assurances from House Speaker John Boehner that the probe will be bipartisan, and not a political spectacle.
Party leaders have been meeting today with rank-and-file Democrats to decide whether to take part in what will be the eighth investigation of the assault in Libya two years ago that claimed the lives of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
After the meeting, Democratic Congressman Steve Israel of New York told reporters that if it's a "true bipartisan inquiry," then Democrats will participate. But he says it will be harder for Democrats to do so if "it's engineered to be a Republican campaign strategy."
He says House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made several calls to Boehner yesterday that went unanswered.
Democrats are concerned that taking part in the Republican-led special committee will give legitimacy to what they think will be a partisan forum. But they're also worried that if they avoid it, they won't have a chance to respond to Republican claims, and to defend witnesses.
Democrat Gerry Connolly of Virginia says sentiment among Democrats is shifting toward participating -- but that they want to know the "rules of engagement" first.