Rep. Darrell Issa issued a subpoena on Tuesday demanding more documents from the State Department for records related to the controversial talking points used in the days after the attack on the Benghazi consulate.
Issa, the chairman of the House oversight
committee, wants State to turn over documents from 10 current and former
employees not included in the last batch of emails from the department
that the Republican claims could provide more details into how and why
the talking points were changed.
“The State Department has not lived up to the administration’s broad and
unambiguous promises of cooperation with Congress. Therefore, I am left
with no alternative but to compel the State Department to produce
relevant documents through a subpoena,” Issa wrote in a letter to
Secretary of State John Kerry.
Republicans have charged that the White House stripped the talking
points — which U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used in appearance on Sunday
shows the weekend after the attacks — of all references to “terrorism”
in order to achieve a political goal.
The White House turned over 100 pages emails earlier this month and argued those emails show it was CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell — not State spokeswoman Victoria Nuland — who first suggested removing terrorism references from the talking points.
Issa said those emails were insufficient.
”The State Department’s response failed to acknowledge that we
requested all communications related to talking points, to or from nine
State Department officials,” Issa wrote. “Despite the fact that you
assigned your chief of staff, David Wade, to be responsible for managing
the response to the congressional investigation, the Department has
given no indication that it intends to produce these documents
Among the 10 employees whose correspondences are being sought are
Nuland, Cheryl Mills, a top Clinton aide who Republicans have accused of
being the force behind the efforts to mount a political cover up in the
aftermath of the attacks. The requests also asks for the records of
William Burns, the deputy secretary of State, and Beth Jones, the acting
assistant secretary for Near East Affairs, who has also been the
subject of criticism by Republicans. (Continues at POLITICO)