Alan Grayson Ready And Willing To Serve On Benghazi Panel

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) is willing to serve on the committee established by House Republicans to investigate the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, a prospect that is likely causing heartburn for the GOP.

In an interview with SiriusXM host Ari Rabin-Havt Friday morning, Grayson said he has actually already talked to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and expressed his interest.

"I've said, if she decides to have Democratic members participate, I'd like to be one of them," he said.

Last week, the House voted largely on party lines to launch a select committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attacks, arguing that previous hearings and investigations were not enough. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) decided that it will have seven Republicans and five Democrats, despite Democrats' request that they have equal representation.

Pelosi has not yet decided whether Democrats will go along with the plan, which they see as a political stunt to rev up the conservative base in advance of the 2014 elections. Some Democrats have argued that they should boycott the committee entirely rather than legitimize it by joining.

Rabin-Havt and a growing number of progressives, however, argue that sitting out the proceedings would be a "colossal error."

"Even with limited power, ceding the committee room to Republicans -- not to mention the televised hearings -- will only allow them to parade their Benghazi myths unimpeded by relevant facts framed in questions from the minority," he wrote in an American Prospect op-ed this week.

The advocacy group Credo Mobile has launched a petition asking Pelosi to appoint Grayson as the one and only Democratic member of the Benghazi committee. The effort has already attracted nearly 20,000 supporters in just two days.

Pelosi's office said it does not have any updates on the status of the Benghazi appointments.

In his interview on Friday, Grayson said Republicans were focusing on Benghazi simply to avoid talking about more important issues.

"They still think that there's some political gain to be gotten here because they don't want to talk about unemployment, they have no answers," he said. "They don't want to talk about health care, they have no answers. They don't want to talk about education, or housing, or benefits, or pensions, or anything that is real in the lives of the American people. They have no answers. So instead, what they do is they try to embarrass the administration over and over again. Instead what they do is embarrass themselves."

UPDATE: 8:51 p.m. -- In an interview with MSNBC's Al Sharpton Friday evening, Grayson discussed what he would be like on the Benghazi committee.

"I would be their worst, worst nightmare. I'd be their worst and last nightmare," he said.