California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has issued a subpoena demanding Secretary of State John Kerry answer questions about the State Department’s handling of the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. The subpoena requires Kerry to testify before the committee at a public hearing May 21.
In a letter to Kerry Friday, Issa described the State Department’s response to congressional investigations into the attack as “disturbing.”
“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.
Issa’s subpoena comes after the State Department produced previously unreleased emails showing White House officials discussing talking points about the attack after it occurred. Those original talking points, which have drawn substantial criticism from Republicans, argued the attack was “rooted in an internet video” about the Muslim Prophet Muhammad and not any policy failures.
In his letter to Kerry, Issa said it was “alarming” the emails were not released to congressional investigators sooner.
“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,” Issa wrote.
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider Thursday.
Issa’s subpoena isn’t the only sign Republicans are stepping up their focus on Benghazi. According to the Weekly Standard, an unnamed House leadership aide said House Speaker John Boehner is “seriously considering” establishing a select committee to investigate the attacks and subsequent government response.
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