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Topics: House Oversight

Elijah Cummings: 'Shockingly disrespectful' to subpoena John Kerry about Benghazi

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Congress,Joel Gehrke,John Kerry,Darrell Issa,Benghazi,Libya,Elijah Cummings,House Oversight

Secretary of State John Kerry will have plenty of help from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Democrats when he testifies about documents pertaining to the Benghazi terrorist attacks.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., denounced the subpoena of Kerry as "shockingly disrespectful," protesting that Kerry should have been given more time to prepare and that committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., should have followed a more formal process for issuing the subpoena.

“These actions are not a responsible approach to congressional oversight, they continue a trend of generating unnecessary conflict for the sake of publicity, and they are shockingly disrespectful to the Secretary of State,” Cummings, the top Democrat on the oversight panel, said in response to the subpoena.

Issa subpoenaed Kerry in response to the recent release of White House emails showing then-deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes telling then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice that one of her goals in talking on the Sunday shows would be to emphasize the protests sparked by an anti-Islam YouTube video.

"[T]hese protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy,” Rhodes wrote.

“The fact that these documents were withheld from Congress for more than 19 months is alarming,” Issa wrote in a Friday letter to Kerry. “The Department is not entitled to delay responsive materials because it is embarrassing or implicates the roles and actions of senior officials.”

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