Kerry Testimony to Benghazi Committee on Hold

Image: Kerry Testimony to Benghazi Committee on Hold

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 08:25 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Secretary of State John Kerry's subpoena to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Benghazi has been put on hold to allow time for the State Department and Chairman Darrell Issa to hammer out when, or if, he will appear, Roll Call reported.

Officials say the committee may want to find a more suitable witness than Kerry to give evidence about the administration's response to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, CBS News reported.

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"Given the pressing foreign affairs issues that the secretary is actively engaged on and the committee's focus on document production issues, we would like to explore whether there are better means of addressing the committee's interests, including through a more appropriate witness," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Committee spokesman Frederick Hill said, "The State Department has told the committee that they are committed to finding an alternative date in the near future for Secretary Kerry to testify before the Oversight Committee. As such, Chairman Issa agreed to lift the subpoena obligation for May 21," according to The Associated Press.

Kerry is scheduled to be in Mexico on May 21.

Issa said Kerry was subpoenaed because the State Department has not turned over all the documents demanded by the committee, CBS reported.

Kerry's position, outlined during a May 6 news conference, is that the State Department is doing its best to meet the demands of the committee, which is behaving in a "partisan" manner.

"I've guaranteed that we would cooperate in every single way… I served 29 years in the United States Senate…. And I was chairman of a major committee, and I don't think I ever issued a subpoena to somebody that I hadn't first invited to come and speak. I think this sort of speaks for itself, frankly," he said.

Hillary Clinton was secretary of state at the time of the attack, while Kerry was a member of the U.S. Senate.

Urgent: Do You Think There is a Cover-up on Benghazi? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

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