WASHINGTON (AP) — The five Democrats on the House Select Committee on Benghazi are being counted on to defend the Obama administration's record as November's elections creep closer.

All five voted against the special investigation. Most have described it as a political stunt and waste of time.

Each now says it's important to participate in the Republican-led probe of how a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed at a U.S. diplomatic installation in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, and how the administration responded.

They share this overriding sentiment: Without their presence, Republican accusations against President Barack Obama, his top officials and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a possible presidential front-runner in 2016, would go unchallenged.

They've expressed little belief they might find new evidence pointing to administration wrongdoing.