Darrell Issa subpoenas four State Department officials for Benghazi information
BY: SUSAN FERRECHIO JUNE 24, 2013 | 8:20 PM | MODIFIED: JUNE 24, 2013 AT 9:35 PM
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has issued subpoenas for four current and former State Department officials to find out what they know about the fatal terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.
Issa, in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, said he has been unable to arrange interviews with the four officials, who Issa said, “possess direct knowledge of the event.”
Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was killed in the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks, along with three other Americans.
House and Senate Republicans have been pushing the Obama Administration for additional information on the attacks and the lack of security in Benghazi as well as the decision not to launch a rescue mission during the attacks.
Issa has issued subpoenas for Eric Boswell, the former Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Scott Bultrowicz, the former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Director of the Diplomatic Security Service, Elizabeth Dibble, the former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs ad Elizabeth Jones, the acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau Near Eastern Affairs.
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It was revealed during a House oversight hearing on the Benghazi attack that Jones had told the Libyan ambassador in the days following the attack that Islamic terrorists were behind it. Jones had sent out that information to nearly all top State Department officials. But just days later, Susan Rice, the United States ambassador to the U.N., said on a round of talk shows that the attack was prompted by an anti-muslim video circulating on YouTube.
Issa said he is issuing the subpoenas because he has not been able to interview the four officials.
“These persistent delays create the appearance that the Department is dragging its feet to slow down the Committee’s investigation,” Issa wrote in the letter to Kerry. “It does not require weeks of preparation to answer questions truthfully. These delays also take us further in time away from the dates of the events in question.”
Issa said congressional investigators nearly two months ago sent a list of 13 State Department officials they want to interview, but have been so far provided access to just one official.