First on CNN: Boehner defends Benghazi panel

Washington (CNN)House Speaker John Boehner denied Thursday that the panel investigating the Benghazi attack is political or aimed at discrediting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In a statement, he said will not disband the committee, despite controversial comments made this week by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy that the panel helped Republicans damage Clinton politically.
"This investigation has never been about former Secretary of State Clinton and never will be," Boehner said in a statement provided to CNN Thursday. "Indeed, the Select Committee's very existence is only the result of the Obama administration's obstruction of routine congressional investigations and its failure to properly comply with subpoenas and document requests."
Senate Democrats have called on Republicans to disband the panel in the wake of McCarthy's gaffe. The California Republican is the favorite to succeed Boehner as House speaker.
    Other Republicans have also said the panel isn't focused on attacking Clinton, but instead on finding out what happened in the Benghazi terrorist strike that killed four people, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.
    "The fact remains that Secretary Clinton and the Obama administration have done everything they can to delay, derail, and stop this investigation," Boehner said. "They've failed to turn over documents in a timely way, and their own actions have needlessly prolonged this panel's work."