Issa Issues New Subpoena for Kerry

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Posted May 15, 2014 at 2:57pm

Rep. Darrell Issa has issued a new subpoena for John Kerry to testify on May 29 on the Benghazi, Libya, attack, though the State Department still hasn’t indicated officially that the secretary of state will comply.  

Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, announced the new subpoena Thursday, after reports earlier this week that the State Department was negotiating with the panel over a “more appropriate witness.”  

The California Republican had previously ordered the secretary of State to appear on May 21, but agreed to lift that subpoena to avoid a conflict with a previously scheduled Kerry trip to Mexico.  

“I lifted the subpoena requiring Secretary Kerry to testify on May 21 because the State Department made reasonable arguments for an accommodation and told our Committee they were seeking a suitable alternative date for his testimony on a voluntary basis,” Issa said in a statement issued Thursday. “But soon after I lifted the subpoena, the State Department back tracked — stating publicly that we should accept ‘a more appropriate witness’ and refusing to commit to making Secretary Kerry available. “With this State Department’s slippery tactics, it’s no wonder our friends in the world are losing faith in us and our adversaries doubt our credibility. The State Department had discussed May 29 as a possible alternative date and that’s when Secretary Kerry will be obligated to appear — further accommodation will not be possible. Absent an assertion of executive privilege, the State Department has a legal obligation to fully and completely comply.”  

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, has created a new special select committee, headed by Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., to look into the handling of the 2012 attack on diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.