Issa Subpoenas Kerry on Benghazi Emails

Image: Issa Subpoenas Kerry on Benghazi Emails

Friday, 02 May 2014 12:01 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has subpoenaed Secretary of State John Kerry to testify about the emails recently released about the Benghazi attack.

Issa is calling Kerry to testify on May 21 about why it has taken so long for the State Department to provide documents the committee has repeatedly requested — specifically the emails that were recently released as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request by the government watchdog group Judicial Watch, which "appears to offer conclusive evidence that your agency attempted to illegally withhold subpoenaed material," the California Republican wrote in the letter attached to the subpoena.

"The fact that these documents were withheld from Congress for more than 19 months is alarming," Issa adds. "The Department is not entitled to delay responsive materials because it is embarrassing or implicates the roles and actions of senior officials."

"The State Department's response to the congressional investigation of the Benghazi attack has shown a disturbing disregard for the Department's legal obligations to Congress," Issa wrote.

In response to the subpoena, a State Department spokesman told Fox News that Kerry is expected to be in Mexico on May 21, "which the House Oversight Committee would have known if they had reached out to us.

"We’re surprised that they resorted in the first instance to a subpoena, given we’ve been cooperating all along with the committee," the spokesman said.

The official also slammed the Issa panel for focusing "on the politics of Benghazi.

"What we’re focused on is improving best practices and bringing the perpetrators to justice," the spokesman said.

Issa is calling on Kerry to keep his promise to "fix" the State Department's "well-deserved reputation for obstructing and delaying the congressional investigation of the Benghazi attack."

Issa also wants Kerry to identify any other documents the State Department may be withholding.

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