Tuesday, May 06, 2014

State Department: John Kerry Will Ignore House Subpoena Over Benghazi


Well, that didn't take long.

The State Department has responded to a subpoena by the House Oversight Committee by stating that Secretary of State Kerry will not appear before them and will not comply with the subpoena, issued by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA.

Issa issued the subpoena for Kerry on Friday, saying that the State Department has “failed to meets its legal obligations.”

“This disregard for the rule of law is even more disturbing considering your agency’s role in encouraging governments throughout the world to respect the rule of law and the authority of representative government brought to office through free and fair elections,” Issa said in a letter to Kerry. “By ignoring your own legal obligations and posturing the State Department as immune from congressional oversight, these actions undermine our credibility abroad and erode our moral authority.”

"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."

Kerry was supossed to appear before the Committee May 21st. State's reply?

Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Kerry planned to travel to Mexico at that time and officials would discuss alternative options with the committee.

“We are committed to working with the committee to find a resolution to this that is acceptable to both sides. We were surprised when they didn’t reach out to us before issuing a subpoena for exactly that reason,” Harf said. “And as I’ve noted here, there have been a number of Republicans who themselves, under the previous administration, said a secretary of state should not be subpoenaed.”

It's fascinating that she doesn't mention any by name. And that bit about needing toi be subpoenad? As if Kerry would have appeared voluntarily if they just asked?

George Schultz, Reagan's Secretary of State testified before Congress on Iran -Contra. James Baker, Bush '41's Secretary of State did too, both without the necessity of being subpoenaed.So did Colin Powell and Condaleeza Rice.

Clinton's Secretary of State Warren M. Christopher testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee
and Christopher's successor, Madelaine Albright testified on NATO expansion in hearings before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. Neither needed a subpoena.

So what makes Secretary Kerry such a special little snowflake? Oh, wait...none of these previous administrations had anything like the contempt for congress the current one does, or the record of serial obstruction.

And none of them had even remotely as much to hide, based on how the Obama Administration has behaved on Benghazi, Fast and Furious, IRS-Gate or any of the other scandals this most lawless and secretive of regimes has been involved in since its inception.

I'll be surprised if Kerry appears at all let alone under oath, given his penchant for shooting his mouth off without thinking. But if he won't appear, the House Select Committee certainly has a clear path to requiring him to be deposed.And that will be under oath.

(h/t, Weasel Zippers)

UPDATE: Kerry has apparently changed his mind. He announced late today he would in fact comply with the subpoena.

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