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Senate Dems call on Boehner to disband Benghazi panel

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Senate Democratic leaders say House Republicans should dissolve the special panel investigating the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack given House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s comments that the committee is a political weapon against Hillary Clinton.

“It is unconscionable that the U.S. House of Representatives is continuing to use millions of dollars in taxpayer funds for political purposes, and we urge you to immediately disband the Select Committee on Benghazi,” Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin (Ill.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Patty Murray (Wash.) and Barbara Boxer (Calif.) said in a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

{mosads}Boehner announced his resignation last week, and McCarthy (R-Calif.) is running to replace him. 

The majority leader created a political storm on Wednesday when he touted the Benghazi panel as a top political accomplishment of the House GOP. 

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable,” he told Fox News earlier this week.

Democrats pounced on the McCarthy comments, which they said proved that the panel wasn’t meant to get to the truth behind the Benghazi attack and its aftermath, but was simply meant to hurt Clinton, the secretary of State at the time of the attack and now the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

Some Republicans have also blasted McCarthy, who was seen as undercutting the party’s message.

Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) repudiated McCarthy’s comments in a CNN interview on Wednesday, and said McCarthy should apologize.

McCarthy’s office later released a statement saying the Benghazi panel had nothing to do with politics.

“These inquiries have nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the consequences of what the former secretary has done and her confusing, conflicting and demonstrably false responses,” McCarthy spokesman Matt Sparks stated.

In their letter to Boehner, the five Senate Democrats said McCarthy’s comments underscore that the committee is meant to politically injure Clinton rather than conduct “a serious investigation into a terrorist attack that killed four Americans. We should not disrespect their sacrifice by further politicizing this tragedy.” 

Reid suggested separately on the Senate floor that McCarthy’s comments should make Republicans rethink making him Boehner’s successor, adding that “they better take a look at who they are going to elect as Speaker.” 
Tags Benghazi Charles Schumer Dick Durbin Harry Reid Hillary Clinton Kevin McCarthy Patty Murray
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