Darrell Issa Says Kerry Won’t Have to Testify on Benghazi

The House Oversight chairman cited concerns that the secretary of State was using the hearing to avoid testifying before the Select Committee.

US Secretary of State John Kerry pauses as he delivers a speech on climate change in Jakarta on February 16, 2014. Kerry will on February 16 issue a clarion call for the world to do to more to combat climate change, warning the planet is being pushed to 'a tipping point of no return'. 
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Sarah Mimms
May 30, 2014, 9:39 a.m.

Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry will not have to testi­fy be­fore the House Over­sight Com­mit­tee next month, after com­mit­tee Chair­man Dar­rell Issa re­leased him from a sub­poena Fri­day.

Issa ac­cused Kerry of try­ing “to use the up­com­ing June 12 hear­ing as a shield against” the House Se­lect Com­mit­tee on Benghazi, which was formed earli­er this month. “It’s been dis­ap­point­ing to watch a long-serving former sen­at­or, like Sec­ret­ary Kerry, squirm his way to what I’m do­ing today — re­leas­ing him from the up­com­ing hear­ing com­mit­ment he made only after we is­sued him a sub­poena,” Issa said in a state­ment Fri­day.

In ac­cept­ing the June 12 hear­ing date, Kerry’s staff made clear to Issa and oth­er con­gres­sion­al lead­ers that he would ap­pear be­fore Con­gress to dis­cuss the is­sue only once, threat­en­ing the abil­ity of the Se­lect Com­mit­tee to call him in the fu­ture.

Pre­vi­ously, Issa had the bless­ing of House lead­er­ship to call Kerry to testi­fy and to con­tin­ue with his own sep­ar­ate in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to the at­tacks in ad­di­tion to the Se­lect Com­mit­tee’s in­vest­ig­a­tion.

The Se­lect Com­mit­tee has yet to get un­der­way, as mem­bers on both sides of the aisle be­gin hir­ing staff and dis­cuss­ing how they would like to pro­ceed. At the mo­ment, there is no timeline for when the com­mit­tee will be­gin its in­vest­ig­a­tion.


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