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Kerry subpoena: State not allowed to withhold 'embarrassing' Benghazi documents

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks April 24, 2014 in Washington, DC.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks April 24, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The State Department never asked for military help to save American lives in Benghazi, Libya according to testimony yesterday from retired USAF Brig. Gen. Robert Lovell who was in the operations control room in Germany on the night of the attacks, and is news which prompts a furious Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee and Representative for the City of Vista, to issue a subpoena requiring Secretary of State John Kerry to appear at a public hearing May 21.

The Press Release from Issa's Committee (link here), quotes Issa:

“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. 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.”

A pdf. of the letter from Issa to Kerry can be seen at the House Oversight link. In it Issa also mentions "new documents" which were "released to the Committee only after compulsion in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit" and it " appears to offer conclusive evidence that your agency attempted to illegally withhold subpoenaed material."

Further, Issa states:

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