Secretary of State John Kerry has been subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee after new revelations this week about the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi. The State Department has been accused of "illegally withholding subpoenaed material" from Congress, action that could "constitute a criminal offense." Kerry is expected under the subpoena to testify at a May 21 hearing on Capitol Hill and the
“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,” Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa wrotes in a letter to Secretary Kerry. “Compliance with a subpoena for documents is not a game. Because your Department is failing to meet its legal obligations, I am issuing a new subpoena to compel you to appear before the Committee to answer questions about your agency’s response to the congressional investigation of the Benghazi attack.”
The subpoena comes on the heels of new emails obtained and released by Judicial Watch showing Senior White House National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes altered Benghazi talking points. The emails were obtained through a Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit and have been withheld from Congress despite multiple document requests, a potentially criminal offense.
“The fact that these documents were withheld from Congress for more than 19 months is alarming,” Issa wrote. “The Department is not entitled to delay responsive materials because it is embarrassing or implicates the roles and actions of senior officials.”
In the letter Issa reminded Kerry of his commitment to getting the truth about the Benghazi when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left office.
"Just weeks before taking over for outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while serving as Chairman of the Senate Foreign relations Committee, you expressed a commitment to obtaining the full record of facts related to the deadly September 11-12, 2012, attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya. You said, "From the very beginning of the Benghazi events, every member of this Committee has shared with the President and Secretary Clinton our determination to get all of the facts about what happened and why in Benghazi." You aligned yourself with a similar, previous commitment from the President," Issa wrote.
This post has been updated.