Two more subpoenas have been issued by Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa R-CA) to the State Department following months of stonewalling and failing to get answers on the attacks that took place in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.
“After ignoring requests for months, the State Department has left no alternative but to issue subpoenas for documents relevant to our investigation,” Issa said in a statement. “State Department tactics to delay and impede accountability have exhausted the Committee’s patience. Further subpoenas may also be necessary if the Department is not forthcoming on other requests.”
According to the first subpoena, it requests:
All documents provided by the Department of State to the Accountability Review Board (“ARB” or “the ARB”) convened to examine the facts and circumstances surrounding the September 11-12, 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.
All documents and communications referring or relating to ARB interviews or meetings, including, but not limited to, notes or summaries prepared during and after any ARB interview or meeting.
The second subpoena requests:
All documents that have been made available to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform for in camera review, including, but not limited to, the approximately 25,000 pages of documents referenced in the March 29, 2013 letter from Acting Assistant Secretary Thomas B. Gibbons to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa.
Issa has already sent a subpoena for all documents related to the crafting of talking points on Benghazi to State Secretary John Kerry. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters that the State Department may not comply with the subpoena.
“The State Department has worked in good faith to meet Chairman Issa’s many demands, and his Committee has had daily access to 25,000 pages of documents since January,” responded a spokesman for Secretary of State John Kerry, Alec Gerlach.
“For seven months, we’ve offered and provided access to specific documents at his request. I’m scratching my head trying to ascertain what practical value yet another Issa subpoena has in protecting our diplomats,” he continued. “It’s a jarring juxtaposition to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which just this morning overwhelmingly passed bi-partisan Embassy Security legislation.
Perhaps if the stonewalling continues, Issa should start pushing to hold John Kerry in contempt of Congress. After all, Kerry’s claims of access to documents if sort of like Attorney General Eric Holder’s claims about documents his agency provided to Issa’s committee on Fast and Furious. Remember those? Yet, Holder stonewalled and failed to provide all documents requested. Kerry seems to be doing the same thing here.
House Republicans, Special Forces, veterans, and ordinary Americans like Pat Smith, whose son Sean was killed in Benghazi, have called on the House to form a select committee to probe the attack, believing the committees don’t seem to have enough power to deal with it, including Issa’s. Speaker John Boehner has said he won’t let that happen.
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